Off-farm sources

swine o'clock Sep 27, 2022

Luke Skywalker wasn’t the only one leaving the farm for outside opportunities. According to the University of Missouri, 82% of US farm and ranch household income now comes from off-farm sources. The numbers reveal the growing economic diversity of farms as well as the interconnection between rural communities and surrounding cities – besides the fact that most households have negative farm income in a typical year and workers are searching for health and retirement benefits.

  • Rural workers have evolved their thoughts on what fuels rural economies and what the communities need to succeed and thrive – in many cases, the historical concept of “rural” no longer applies.”

Off-farm jobs are especially critical for young and beginning farmers as they build their businesses because they reduce financial risks, which is especially important for those who face higher debts as they start their companies.