What Is a Small Farm?
According to the USDA, a farm is considered “small” if its gross sales are less than $250,000. As of 2007, the large majority (93%) of farms in Florida fell into the small farm category.1
While these statistics are helpful, they still don’t fully answer the question, what is a small farm in Florida? A survey by UF/IFAS researchers1 revealed some key insights into Florida’s small farm community:
- Most Florida small farms were less than 50 acres in size.
- A small farm was often not the owner’s sole source of income. The majority of the small farms surveyed made less than $25,000 in gross sales.
- Most small farms were only involved in one enterprise—for example, just beef cattle or just vegetables—though the types of enterprises were quite varied.
- People with small farms were a mix of those relatively new to farming—for example, those who were first in their family to farm—and those whose families had been farming for generations.
- The average age of someone with a small farm was 58, and men made up the majority of small farm owners.
- Small farm owners tended to rely on local small farm events and print materials to stay informed.
For more information on small farms in Florida, check out the new Florida Small Farms blog on Blogs.IFAS. Also see
- Steven A. Gaul, Robert C. Hochmuth, Glenn D. Israel, and Danielle Treadwell, Characteristics of Small Farm Operators in Florida: Economics, Demographics, and Preferred Information Channels and Sources, WC088, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2015, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc088
UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones