Farms are getting bigger and the smallest farms aren’t real farms. … But there’s another important part to this story: Consolidation isn’t the same thing as the loss of family farms. Ninety-seven percent of US farms are family-owned, according the most recent Agricultural Census.
Even big farms are usually family owned. Of farms with gross annual sales of $1,000,000 or more, 94 percent are family farms. Of farms with 10,000 acres or more, 86 percent are family businesses. Nor is this a situation there a tiny fraction of non-family farms own most of the land or produce an outsized portion of our food. For both stats, non-family farms represent less than 10 percent of the total.
Even mega-farms, in other words, aren’t being run by faceless corporate elites. Instead, it’s more like Old MacDonald got himself a bigger, GPS-enabled tractor and now farms land that used to belong to three of his neighbors.
Corporations have more of a presence in cattle feeedlots, fruit and nut farms, and the chicken industry….
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