Friday, September 18, 2020


Home Archive Do Family Farms Still Exist?

Do Family Farms Still Exist?

Melissa Green PhotoI have a confession to make. I am little spoiled and sheltered, but not in the ways you may think. I would say I am spoiled because I grew up eating meat that we raised on our family ranch. We always had high quality, juicy and tender beef. This also means I am a bit sheltered because I do not know how much meat actually costs in a supermarket.

Maybe you did not grow up on a farm or ranch like me. But did you know that 97% of farms in the US are family owned? That is pretty impressive! The USDA Economic Research Service conducted an ag survey in 2011. They defined a farm as a place that produces and sells at least $1,000 of agricultural products in a year. They also say a family farm is where the majority of the business is owned and operated by people related to one another. In my travels, I have met many friends who are the 5th generation on their family’s farm. That kind of legacy is remarkable. Can you imagine the fascinating stories shared around that dinner table?

farm valuesThe USDA survey also shows that 87% of the farms in the United States are small family farms. Just how small is small? A small family farm is one where the yearly sales of agricultural products are less than $250,000. On average, small family farms make less of a profit than large farms. Therefore, many small family operations rely on off the farm work as their primary source of income.

Let’s break this down to a more personal level. Think of any family members, friends, or acquaintances you know related to agriculture. Now imagine that more than 80% of them run a small family farm. Along with the daily farming tasks, these people also work a job off the farm to bring in 44-92% of their income. I am picturing a farmer who puts in a full day at the office and then comes home to plow fields or work with livestock. And all in an effort to provide food for other people. Talk about dedication and passion for their craft!

For me, growing up on a small family ranch provided some unique opportunities, including good beef and lamb. While I couldn’t ride my bike down the street to a friend’s house, my backyard was a giant playground of rolling hills and oak trees. Most importantly, the ranch provided valuable learning experiences. Raising animals for the fair taught me to be responsible for another living creature. Weekends spent cleaning barns, sorting sheep, and building fence taught me the value of hard work. And to appreciate my hard earned cash!

Family farms, small and large, account for 85% of agricultural production. The next time you buy food, fiber, or flowers, remember there is a good chance that it came from a family farm.


Lloyd Green Jr, Editor
Lloyd Green Jr, Editor
Lloyd Green Jr. is the Owner and Publisher of the Williams Pioneer Review. He is dedicated in publishing the news and informing the community of Colusa County. Lloyd has been with the publication since 2008, and purchased the business in 2010. Under his ownership the newspaper has grown significantly in subscriptions, publishes weekly, and obtained the title of Newspaper of General Circulation by the Superior Court of Colusa County in Sept. 2017. Lloyd is also the director of advertising, classified manager, legal notice clerk, and circulation manager. To contact Lloyd, email him at or call (530) 458-4141 ext. 100.

More News

Three killed on I-5 in two separate accidents 

Three people were killed on Interstate 5 in Colusa County over a five day period in two separate accidents.  A Yuba City couple were killed...

Coaches Corner: Dan Kiely

Soccer in Colusa County has a long history of competitive play and a major contributor to that tradition is Colusa High School boys’ soccer...

Garden Club Plant Sale

The Garden Club of Colusa County hosted their fall plant sale in the Davison Pavilion in Colusa on Saturday, Sept. 8. The event, which...

First Patriot Day ceremony held at Williams Elementary School

Students who attend Williams Elementary School were not alive 19 years ago when hijackers used airplanes as weapons of destruction to kill nearly 3,000...

Distance learning raises questions about home imagery

Editors Note: The article has been updated from the print version to correct the spelling of Tiffany Sines. Distance learning seems to be more challenging...

Local Government

County appoints new Airport Advisory Committee

The Colusa County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 1 appointed seven members to the newly restructured Airport Advisory Committee. The previous committee of about 15...

Colusa Police Department: July 2020

The City of Colusa Police Department responded to 382 calls for service, up from 311 in June. There were an additional 31 calls to...

City of Colusa adopts strategy for economic development

The Colusa City Council last week adopted the final Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, a report that will serve as a roadmap intended to diversify...

Public & Legal Notices

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000072 Date filed: September 11, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: GULLATT RANCH Business Address: 6880 GREENBAY ROAD, ARBUCKLE, CA 95912 Mailing...

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000071 Date filed: September 1, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: C & C ENGINEERING Business Address: 2081 LONE STAR ROAD,...

Notice of Lien Sale

NOTICE OF LIEN SALE SEPTEMBER 20, 2020 AT 5:00 PM 423 SIOC STREET, COLUSA, CA 95932 8’  3’ GOLD WING 09/16/2020 • WPR #2020-1142


CIUDAD DE COLUSA AVISO DE AUDIENCIA PÚBLICA AVISO SE DA A LA PRESENTE QUE la Comisión de Ciudad de Colusa y  Planificación llevará a cabo un...


CITY OF COLUSA NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City of Colusa and Planning Commission will hold public workshop on Wednesday, September...