Small Farms

Red barn in Autumn.  (Copyright IStock)"Family farms comprise 99 percent of U.S. farms, accounting for 89 percent of production. Small farms make up 90 percent of farms, operating nearly half of farmland. Still, large family farms accounted for 42 percent of production in 2015." From America’s Diverse Family Farms 2016 Edition (USDA, ERS).

New England Small Farm Institute (NESFI).

Access the NESFI Library, links, reports, LandLink program, training programs and other tools.

University of California. Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Access online publications, information resources, conferences, directories of assistance and expertise and more.

USDA. National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The National Small Farm Program offers grants and grant writing support, a national network of State Program coordinators, the Small Farm Digest newsletter, and a triennial National Small Farm Conference.

USDA. Cooperative Extension Service.

The USDA Economic Research Service's "farm classification system divides U.S. farms into eight mutually exclusive...groups." "The farm typology focuses on 'family farms,' or farms organized as proprietorships, partnerships, and family corporations that are not operated by a hired manager. To be complete, however, it also includes nonfamily farms." (See also, Farm Topology in "Farm Household and Well-being." USDA. Economic Research Service.)

USDA. NAL. Sustainable Systems and Communities Program.

Watch this short video tutorial to learn more about funding sources for farmers and ranchers. The video is a companion to the Small Farm Funding Resources publication that covers tools to develop a business plan, write a grant proposal, locate funding and assistance programs and more.

USDA. National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Access the proceedings for the first six National Small Farm Conferences. The conference provides a forum for land grant universities, community-based organizations and other stakeholders who work with small farmers and ranchers to share successes in small farm activities, as well as innovative ideas in research, extension and outreach.

U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Provides resources and USDA "program information about access to capital, land management and conservation practices, managing risk, finding local markets, and other educational resources."