In the 2017 edition of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center’s publication, “Small Business and Its Impact on Georgia,” the article below titled, “Spotlight Industries in Georgia: Agriculture,” was featured.
Georgia is well known for agriculture. Farming has been a way of life for generations in the south, and Georgia is no different. The Census of Agriculture found that 97 percent of all U.S. farms are family-owned. A family farm is any farm where the majority of the business is owned by the operator and individuals related to the operator, including through blood, marriage, or adoption.(1) In the 2012 Census of Agriculture, Georgia had 42,257 farms. Of those farms, 36,863 were family or individual owned.(2)
Small family farms, those reporting annual gross cash farm income less than $350,000, make up 90 percent of the farms in the U.S. those farms operate 52 percent of the Nation’s farmland. Despite making up the majority of the U.S. farm count, small family farms produce 26 percent of the nation’s farm output. Poultry production is the top commodity for small farms.(3)
In 2014, the total agricultural production value for Georgia was $14.1 billion, up from $484 million from 2013. For Georgia, boilers were the top agricultural commodity in 2014 with 32 percent share of the total commodity output for the state. Georgia’s broiler industry is valued at over $4 billion annually for the past several years. Beef production follows at 8 percent.(4)
(1) United States Department of Agriculture. Office of Communications. Family Farms Are the Focus of New Agriculture Census Data. 17 Mar. 2015. Web. 12 Oct. 2016. Release No. 0066.15 | (2) 2012 Census of Agriculture: Georgia – State and County Data. Rep. no. Volume 1, Part 10. United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, May 2014. | (3) Hoppe, Robert A. Structure and Finances of U.S. Farms: Family Farm Report, 2014 Edition, EIB-132, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December 2014. | (4) Wolfe, Kent, and Karen Stubbs. 2014 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report. Rep. no. AR-15-01. The University of Georgia, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, The Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development. September 2015.