Share of principal farm operators with college degrees has increased

A chart showing the percentage of farm operators who graduated from college, by sales class, in years 1993 to 2007.

Farm operators historically graduated from high school at lower rates than the general public, but that gap had largely closed by the late 1980s. By 2007, the share of farm operators receiving a high school diploma (90 percent) exceeded the graduation rate for all U.S. households (87 percent). College degrees remain more common for all U.S. householders than for farm operators, though roughly 30 percent of the operators of million-dollar farms had college degrees in 2007, the same share as for all U.S. householders. The educational gap between operators of million-dollar farms and smaller farms has declined since the early 1990s. The increase in college education in the lowest sales class may reflect higher educational levels required for off-farm work. This chart is based on information originally provided in The Changing Organization of U.S. Farming, EIB-88, December 2011.

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