5 Fascinating Things About Farms

by Rootstock Editor

May 8, 2022

by Rootstock Editor

On the fifth day of the fifth month Organic Valley had five things on its minds. Visit Rootstock for five days to be even more fascinated!

The Johnson family of Wisconsin.

Phillip and Levi Johnson, right, walk the pasture of their Wisconsin farm.

There are nearly 1,800 Organic Valley farms across the country and each is unique. Below we share five interesting facts about farming in general but if you’d like to meet Organic Valley farmers, check out our Soul of Farming series, which gets to the heart of why our farmers love what they do.

1. Agriculture is the No. 1 employer in the nation. In 2020, 2.6 million Americans worked on farms. There are a total of 104,445 agricultural employers in the United States who paid $43.5 billion in wages.Farm and ranch families comprise just 2% of the U.S. population.

2. There has been a lot of talk about electric cars as of late and now thanks to manufacturers like California-based Soletrac, electric tractors are making their way to farms. The battery-powered electric tractors are zero-emission alternatives to diesel tractors. Larger companies, like John Deere, have also developed electric tractors.

3. One average U.S. farm can feed 166 people a year, according to the American Farm Bureau. Farmers are challenged with figuring out how to grow and raise 70% more food to feed 9 billion people by 2050. As the global population increases, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that the greatest demand will be for wheat, rice and other cereal crops, and meat production.

The Hudyncia family farm in New York.

The Hudyncia family farm in New York. ©David Nevala for Organic Valley

4. In corporate America, a standard 40-hour work week often requires going into the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but farming is 24/7/365. Organic Valley farmer Gene Mohs of Minnesota was surprised when he learned his nieces “had no idea what farming is like—that it’s a 365-day-a-year job and milking cows at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.” Though farming is not a 9-to-5 job, Mohs enjoys the independence.

5. The top 10 agriculture-producing states in terms of cash receipts in 2020 were (in descending order): California, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Kansas, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and North Carolina, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Alaska, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire are the bottom three.