Learning how to farm for Texas Farm Girl was handy—she had PawPaw there at every step to teach her farming methods and life lessons. That’s the benefit of a family farm. And according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, family farming business models like PawPaw and Texas Farm Girl’s are the backbone of agriculture.
Just over 40 percent of the nation’s land is farmland, consisting of about 2 million farms. About 97 percent of those farms are family-owned operations, with about 88 percent of all farms being small family farms. To sum up this information in the USDA’s words: “Food equals family.”
Family farming comes with many benefits—both for the consumer and the family involved. And working with your family in general, whether on the farm or in the office, comes with great lessons for your kids, too.
Feeding the World
According to the Association of Science-Technology Centers, family farmers produce 70 percent of the world’s food products. Additionally, small farms produce more than large-scale farms in terms of output per unit of land and energy use—important factors when considering the huge task of feeding 9 billion by 2050.
Family Farming on the Environment
Many family farming practices are known to be more resilient in their sustainability efforts. This is due in part to their knowledge of the specific environment around them. Just as PawPaw trained Texas Farm Girl how to adapt to the unpredictable Texas Panhandle weather, so too are other family farmers raised on farming practices specific their area’s weather and sustainability needs.
Benefits of growing up in the business
Whether you work with your family on the farm or in another field of business, there’s no bonding experience quite like hard work. When kids grow up working with you, they absorb the important skills and traits needed to succeed. Additionally, your kids will have a better grasp of what it took for you to provide for them because they’ve been by your side during the trials and tribulations. Just as Texas Farm Girl was there for PawPaw during the Texas Panhandle storm, PawPaw was there for Texas Farm Girl when she made a mistake. It’s that love, support, and common goal that keeps family farms and family businesses strong.