Small Farms

Red barn in Autumn.  (Copyright IStock)

"American farms encompass a wide range of sizes, ownership structures, and business types, but most farms are still family farms. Family farms account for 98 percent of farms and 82 percent of production. Although most farms are small and own most of the farmland, production has shifted to very large farms." From America’s Diverse Family Farms 2010 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.