Knowing that the average age of farmers is in the mid-50s, you might be surprised to learn that using USDA's definition of a beginning farmer/rancher (in business for 10 years or less), they make up about a quarter of operators.
- 15% = principal beginning operators (new farms)
- 7% = other beginning operators on new farms
- 3% = less experienced operators on established farms
The most beginning farms produce poultry; the least, cotton and rice:
|Nursery / Vegetables
|Fruit / Tree Nuts
|Cotton / Rice
As you might expect, beginning farmers/ranchers account for a smaller percentage of production: Although 22% of all farms are beginning farms, they produce only 10% of the value of all ag products and account for only 10% of the land in farm operations. They represent the highest percent of poultry production, at 20%, and the least of cash grains, at about 6%.