Multi-Enterprising Farm Households: The Importance of Their Alternative Business Ventures in the Rural Economy

Almost a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production, with distinctly different community and household benefits. In 2007, 686,600 farm households engaged in 791,000 income-generating activities distinct from commodity production, creating $26.7 billion in household income. Onfarm diversification activities like agritourism and off-farm business ventures each accounted for about half of these activities, but off-farm businesses generated about 80 percent of total alternative (i.e., noncommodity) business income earned by farm households, creating the largest impact on the local economy. Off-farm businesses operated by farm households contributed an estimated $54.6 billion in value-added income to the gross regional products of their local economies and paid out $24.5 billion in wages and salaries to 853,100 part-time and full-time employees. In general, the share of the local employment base accounted for by farmer-owned off-farm businesses was higher in more rural counties.


Issue Date:
2012-10
Publication Type:
Report
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/138015
Total Pages:
36
Series Statement:
Economic Information Bulletin
Number 101




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-24

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