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CCFB News» November 2018

Let's Talk About the Ag On Your PlateDo most farmers have off-farm-jobs?

11/03/2018 @ 7:15 am | By Janet McCabe, Cook County Farmer

Every member of our family has an off-farm-job in addition to farming our family farm.  Along with our two adult children and daughter-in-law, we grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa hay. 


Our family isn’t alone, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, over 49 percent of farmers have a primary occupation other than farming.  There are many reasons that farmers may have an off-farm-job including that the farm is too small to support their families; over 34 percent of Illinois farms are less than 50 acres.  Families may also have an off-farm-job for insurance or benefits.  Some families also have an off-farm-job that compliments the farm industry such as selling seed, crop protectants, or crop insurance. 


Farmers with off-farm-jobs must be excellent jugglers- we juggle family, work, and farm commitments.  We also do a lot of farming after 5 p.m. and on the weekends.


Have a question?  Submit it to [email protected]. We’ll share questions with our farmers and publish their answers as space allows in upcoming issues of The Co-Operator.   

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