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Outreach Characteristics

Small Farm Characteristics

A small farm is a farm having less than $250,000 gross receipts annually. In 1995, the Economic Research Service (ERS) identified five primary groups of small farms. These groups are:

(a) Limited Resource. Any small farm with gross sales less than $100,000, total farm assets less than $150,000, and total operator household income less than $20,000. Limited resource farmers may report farming, a non-farm occupation, or retirement as their major occupation.

(b) Retirement. Small farms whose operators report they are retired.

(c) Residential and/or lifestyle. Small farms whose operators report a major occupation other than farming.

(d) Farming occupation and/or lower-sales. Small farms with sales less than $100,000 whose operators report farming as their major occupation.

(e) Farming occupation and/or higher sales. Small farms with sales between $100,000 and $249,000 whose operators report farming as the major occupation.