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Honoring the Nation's Hispanic Farmers

Posted by Ginger Harris, NASS Demographer and Michelle Radice, NASS Outreach and Diversity Director in Rural
Feb 21, 2017

The whole nation is celebrating the Hispanic Heritage Month, honoring numerous achievements and contributions made by the Hispanic-Americans in many industries, including agriculture.

Farm operators of Hispanic, Latino and Spanish origin now comprise 2.5 percent of all farmers and ranchers in the United States, according to the most recent Census of Agriculture, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). According to these data, there are 66,671 farms with Hispanic operators, covering more than 24.6 million acres of U.S. farmland. The states with the highest percentages of Hispanic-operated farms are New Mexico, California and Texas.  Hispanic farmers and ranchers are also becoming more diverse as a group. The latest census data showed that 12 percent of all Hispanic operators are women.

Hispanic Farms Map
Hispanic Farms Map

Hispanic farmers and ranchers are active participants in all facets of U.S. agriculture today. In 2007, they sold more than $12.7 billion worth of agricultural products from their farms and ranches. The most common type of operation among Hispanic famers and ranchers is cattle production, accounting for nearly a third of all farms with Hispanic or Latino operators. While less than one-quarter of Hispanic farms produce specialty crops, which include fruits, vegetables, and nursery and greenhouse products, these operations account for almost half the value of sales from Hispanic operations. 

NASS conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years, with the next census scheduled for 2012. The census is the most reliable source of detailed data about every aspect of U.S. agriculture. It is also the only complete source of U.S. farmers and ranchers’ demographic information. To learn more about the census, click here.

Category/Topic: Rural

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Randall Accountants
Jul 16, 2012

Great post, short but to the point. Thank you for sharing these figures with us and all the best for the future.

Cristina Steele-Rodriguez
May 01, 2016

Cristina Steele-Rodriguez s
Interesting, We went to the FSA/USDA office here in the state of Georgia to pursue a Farm Purchase loan. We were told it would take 6 to 9 months with only a 50% approval rating. I am a US Citizen, Hispanic Female, my husband is Native American – I guess we have to be migrants or illegals to get a loan these days? A farm seller does not want to wait that long to sell and even then they have no guarantee a loan will go through so why would they wait? The websites and information on-line look so nice and promising but is not a reflection of the reality. I have researched the internet and I see that there has been numerous discrimination complaints with the USDA and I would assume that here in the south it is a reality too aside from the long waits and low loan approvals.