Family farms dominate U.S. agriculture
The United Nations has designated 2014 as the ?International Year of Family Farming? to highlight the potential family farmers have to help feed the world. But what is a family farm? USDA?s Economic Research Service (ERS) defines family farms as those whose principal operator, and people related to the principal operator by blood or marriage, own most of the farm business. Under the ERS definition, family farms represent 97.6 percent of all U.S. farms and are responsible for 85 percent of U.S. farm production. Other definitions rely on who supplies the labor. Large farms often rely heavily on hired labor, but farm families who own the farm and provide most of the farm?s labor still account for 87.1 percent of U.S. farms, with 57.6 percent of farm production.