Beginning farms (those with an operator with 10 or fewer years of experience) made up 21 percent of all family farms in 2010, and since they are smaller, on average, than established farms, they accounted for 10 percent of the value of production on family farms. Beginning farmers often report that their biggest challenge getting started in farming is access to enough capital and farmland to operate at a size capable of earning a sufficient profit. Not surprisingly, beginning farm operator’s households have lower farm and nonfarm net worth than established farm households. While most beginning farms include some operator-owned land, they are more likely than established farms to have only rented land. For U.S. farmers, in general, the most common way to have acquired “owned land” for their operation is to have purchased it from a nonrelative. But established farms of all size classes are more likely than beginning farms to have inherited or purchased their owned land from relatives. This chart is drawn from Beginning Farmers and Ranchers at a Glance.
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