Principal operators of beginning farms were more likely to work off-farm than established operators

Principal operators of beginning farms were more likely to work off-farm than established operators

Principal operators of beginning farms have no more than 10 years of experience as a farm or ranch operator and are more likely to work off-farm than more established operators. In 2017, 67 percent of beginning farm principal operators worked off-farm, compared to 45 percent of established farm operators. About 22 percent of beginning farm principal operators worked off-farm part time (1–199 days), compared to 15 percent of established farm operators. And 45 percent of beginning farm operators worked off-farm full time (200+ days), compared to 30 percent of established farm operators. From 2013 to 2017, 47 percent of beginning farms were classified as off-farm occupation farms—with gross cash farm income (GCFI) less than $350,000 per year and a principal operator who reports a major occupation other than farming—compared to 27 percent of established farms. This chart appears in the ERS report, An Overview of Beginning Farms and Farmers, released September 2019.


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