A family farm does not mean an unprofitable small farm. Just like any business, profit is an essential piece of sustainability. Efficient production methods enable farmers to earn acceptable incomes in line with their personal abilities and their passions.
A family farmer plays multiple roles. He is owner, laborer, manager and marketer.
Business partners are often family members. Successful family farms find ways to balance the work requirements of the farm with the goals and aspirations of each family member. Diversifying operations is often a way for family farms to remain profitable and give each family member an area of emphasis and expertise.
Family farming is not about the size of the farm; it is more about the way people farm and live. It truly is a way of life.
The farming family has control over the main resources that are used on the farm. This includes not only the land, but also the animals, the crops, the genetic materials, the house, buildings, machinery and most importantly, the know-how to combine all of the resources to utilize them best.
Family farmers use these resources not only to make a profit, but also to make a living. To earn an income that provides them with a decent life and to make investments that will benefit their farm, their family, and their local community.
Because the family itself is the major source of labor, the family farm is a place of self-employment and of progress. It is through their dedication, passion, and hard work that the farm continues to develop and the livelihood of the family is improved. The hard work of previous generations provides a foundation for the success of the generations that follow.
Family farming is more than ownership and labor. The farm is not only a place of production. It is also home for the farm family. It is a place they belong to – where the family lives and future generations grow up.
The farming family is a part of a flow that links past, present and future. Every farm has a history and is full of memories. Children are working for their parents, but the parents are also working for their children. They want to give the next generation a solid starting point, whether on the farm or in their own venture. Since the farm is the outcome of their work and dedication, it is a sense of enormous pride.
The family farm is the place where experience accumulates, learning takes place and knowledge is passed on to the next generation.
Family farms strengthen local economies, where they buy, spend, serve and worship.
Family farms are a proving ground for agricultural practices that are highly productive, sustainable, innovative and dynamic. Oklahoma is home to over 70,000 family farms. Agriculture is a strong economic industry, and the foundation for a quality of life that sets this state apart.