Agricultural Information Bulletin No. (AIB-768) 101 pp

May 2001

Structural and Financial Characteristics of U.S. Farms: 2001 Family Farm Report

Family farms vary widely in size and other characteristics, ranging from very small retirement and residential farms to establishments with sales in the millions of dollars. The farm typology developed by the Economic Research Service (ERS) categorizes farms into groups based primarily on occupation of the operator and sales class of the farm. The typology groups reflect operators' expectations from farming, position in the life cycle, and dependence on agriculture. The groups differ in their importance to the farm sector, product specialization, program participation, and dependence on farm income. These (and other) differences are discussed in this report.

Keywords: Agricultural Resource Management Study (ARMS), family farms, farm businesses, farm financial situation, farm operator household income, farm operators, farm structure, farm typology, female farm operators, government payments, spouses of farm operators

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