October 12, 2019
To us, every day should be a celebration of our farmers, but of course we have to hit the official day of with a tip of the hat in thanks to the 2% of the population that feeds the world.
Thank you for the late nights and early mornings away from your family, pouring your heart and soul – blood, sweat, and tears into sustaining the world. Without you, we’d be without our food, fuel, and fiber and in a world of trouble.
Did you know in 1960, the average US farmer fed an average of 26 people. Compare that to today, where the average farmer feeds approximately 155 people. They can grow twice as much with greater efficiency – using less land, energy, water, and creating fewer emissions.
Here are some interesting facts from the American Farm Bureau Federation:
There are approximately 2 million farms across America’s rural landscape. Roughly 98% of U.S. farms are operated by families.
One U.S. farm feeds 166 people annually in the U.S. and abroad. The global population is expected to increase by 2.2 billion by 2050, which means the world’s farmers will have to grow about 70% more food than what is now produced.
Cattle and calves, corn, and soybeans are the top 3 U.S. farm products.
Farming accounts for about 1% of the U.S. gross domestic product.
Americans enjoy a food supply that is abundant, affordable overall and among the world’s safest, thanks in large part to the efficiency and productivity of America’s farm and ranch families.
Farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home. The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In 1980, farmers and ranchers received 31 cents.
Farm programs typically cost each American just pennies per meal and account for less than one-half of 1% of the total U.S. budget.
Careful stewardship by America’s food producers has spurred a 34% decline in erosion of cropland by wind and water since 1982.
Women make up 36% of the total number of U.S. farm operators; 56% of all farms have at least one female decision-maker.
One day’s production for a high-producing dairy cow yields 4.8 pounds of butter or 8.7 gallons of ice cream or 10.5 pounds of cheese.
One acre of land can grow a variety of crops, including 50,000 pounds of strawberries or 2,784 pounds (46.4 bushels) of wheat.
The number of farm operators of Spanish, Hispanic or Latino origin is higher than ever, up 13% to 112,451. There also are more African American (45,508, up 2%) farm operators.
About 11% of U.S. farmers are serving or have served in the military.
Farm and ranch families comprise less than 2% of the U.S. population.
25% of all farmers are beginning farmers (in business less than 10 years); their average age is 46.
Read more about beginning farmers in our Bio Series The First Gen Farmer here.
The Farm and Ranch Network