A farm is a plot of land that is farmed for agricultural purposes. A farm is defined as producing or selling agricultural products worth $1,000 or more. According to the USDA census, a small farm is one that is 179 acres or less in size and makes $50,000 or less in gross income each year. All other farms are large.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) classifies all farms into three categories based on their annual sales: $150,000 or more, $35,000 to $149,999, and less than $35,000. In addition, the department divides farms into four types of operations based on how they are financed: 100 percent owned by one person; 50 percent owned by one person and 50 percent owned by someone else; 75 percent owned by two or more people; and some form of partnership. Farms can also be classified by whether they are operated as businesses or not. If a farmer operates his or her farm like any other business, it is called a business farm. Otherwise, it is an occupation farm.
According to the USDA, most farms in America are either large corporate operations or smaller family-owned businesses. However, 4 acres is a small farm because it produces enough food to feed a family of four. Indeed, many farmers today are choosing to grow food for themselves and their families rather than sell it.
Farms as defined by the government "A farm is defined as any site from which $1,000 or more in agricultural goods are produced and sold, or usually would have been sold, during the year," according to the United States Department of Agriculture. These farms are often tiny and have successful seasons. However, they also have significant drawbacks because they are subject to economic fluctuations that can cause great hardship for them.
In addition to traditional farms, other organizations may be classified as farming entities including: companies, associations, and trusts. For example, Walmart is considered a large corporation that sells agricultural products. Although it does not sell food that is ready to eat, such as apples or potatoes, it does sell items used in agriculture, such as tractors or fertilizer. Trusts are legal entities that hold ownership of property without exercising any control over its management; they can be public or private. A charitable trust is a type of trust that is created for religious or charitable purposes. For example, a church could create a charitable trust for money to be spent on housing for homeless people. Private trusts are created by individuals who want to limit their liability while still benefiting others. For example, an individual might create a trust for the benefit of his or her son or daughter if he or she is killed on the job. The child would then receive any money left after the payment of taxes.
Farms vary greatly in size and complexity.
A farm is land on which a farmer raises food and cattle for the production of dairy products. The goal of farm workers is to maintain the soil fertile so that good crops can flourish. A ranch, on the other hand, is property used to produce animals such as sheep, cattle, goats, and pigs. Ranchers try to improve breeding stocks by using genetic engineering when necessary. They also attempt to manage their herds in order to maximize profit.
Farm work can be physically demanding, so farmers usually work out in the field during harvest time. They may use tractors or other machinery to get the job done more quickly. Some farmers are hired through labor agencies because they do not want to spend too much time working in the fields.
Ranchers often work from a house instead of being out in the field. This allows them to monitor their livestock from home while getting some relief from the hard work of farming. Since ranchers do not grow their own food, they must buy it from another farmer or supplier.
Others prefer this method because they believe hiring others will help them keep their costs low. Finally, some farmers choose not to use a agency because they feel like it's unfair to pay other people to do what they would otherwise be able to do themselves.
The USDA defines a small farm as one with gross cash agricultural revenue of less than $250,000. Commercial and noncommercial farms are included in this category. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of small commercial farms (with sales of $10,000 to $250,000) actually decreased. However, the number of small family farms increased during that time period.
In addition to having limited financial resources, small farms are generally operated by individuals who work full time elsewhere. Therefore, they cannot afford to hire additional staff or purchase expensive equipment.
Almost half of all farms are considered small. On average, these farms produce about $150,000 worth of products annually. The other half of all farms account for $300,000 worth of products. These are large farms that may have several hundred thousand dollars worth of assets. They can also employ more people than small farms.
Small farms represent 99% of all farms in California. They account for approximately 95% of all agricultural output valued at $100,000 or more and 60% of all agricultural output valued at less than $100,000.
In 2010, California's 3,101 small farms produced enough food to feed 12 million people - almost one in five Americans. The average small farm sells products worth $150,000 a year, most of which go toward feeding and clothing humans. Small farms supply about one in eight calories consumed in America.
A farm is defined by the USDA as any location that produces and sells—or would typically produce and sell—at least $1,000 of agricultural goods in a given year. The USDA uses agricultural acres and livestock head to assess whether a business with sales of less than $1,000 can typically generate and sell at least that amount. For example, if a farm has 10 acres of farmland and raises 50 chickens for sale during an average week, it would be classified as a farm. If that same farm sold all its products at its store every week, it would not be able to classify itself as a farm because its annual sales would be less than $1,000.
In addition to raising livestock or growing crops, a farm can include fishing ponds, greenhouses, and other land used for agriculture. A farm must also have two or more employees who work on the farm full time. An employee is anyone who works at the farm for at least 100 days during the year.
Farms come in many forms and serve many purposes. Some farms are owned and operated by families who use the income from the farm to pay their bills and enjoy life in rural areas. Other farms are owned by corporations that provide workers for large-scale commercial farming operations. Still others are owned by governments or non-profit organizations that use the income from the farm to fund projects that benefit farmers or people in need.
There are nearly one million farms in the United States.