What is Ohio Farm Bureau

There are fewer farms in the United States, yet more new, beginning and young farmers. Those are two of the top takeaways from the 2022 Census of Agriculture, released once every five years to get an updated look at our nation’s ag sector. Other notable data points from the census: U.S. farmland makes up almost 40% of our nation’s total land, and family farms constitute 95% of all farms in America.

Two particular data points of the new census raise the concern of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

“Survey after survey continues to show a decline in the number of farms and in the amount of farmland,” Vilsack said. “In 2017, when we did the survey, there were 2,042,220 farms. Today, the survey reports we have 1,900,487 farms. That’s 142,000 fewer farms in five years. In 2017, we had almost a little over 900 million acres of land in farming. Five years later, we have 880 million acres. So we’ve lost 20 million acres of farmland.”

The census also indicates U.S. farms and ranches are more productive, and even more profitable, than five years prior.  

“Total value of production increased almost 40% from 2017 to 2022. That was up to $543 billion from $389 billion in 2017,” said Brian Combs of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.  “Sales accounted for 52% of that value in 2022, and those were up 45% from 2017. Livestock sales also increased, and they were up 35% from 2017.”

The census also indicates farm production expenses came in at $424 billion in 2022. As a result, net income from farms between 2017 and 2022 increased by $36.7 billion, or 72%, since 2017.

The census showed an increase of both new, beginning and young farmers and ranchers. 

“The young producer is anyone who is involved in farm decision making under the age of 35 as of December 31, 2022. And the census shows that 296,480 young producers were reported,” Combs said. 

Past census results showed trends of an aging farm population. That trend continued in 2022, per the census, with that average age of all producers at just over 58 years old. Yet the one-half-year increase from 2017 was a smaller rise than prior censuses.

As far as changes to how the country’s farms and ranches operate, the new census shows internet access has increased from 75% to 79% since 2017, and there was a 15% census-over-census increase in the use of renewable energy producing systems. Farms that sold directly to consumers for the 2022 census also reported sales of $3.3 billion, a 16% increase from 2017.

The complete 2022 census is available at nass.usda.gov/agcensus

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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