Let's Talk About the Ag On Your PlateDo most farmers have off-farm-jobs?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share questions with our farmers and publish their answers as space allows in upcoming issues of The Co-Operator.