Celebrating the heart of American agriculture: Family farms

:: Friday, September 8, 2023 :: Posted By Roger Gunning
In the vast and ever-evolving landscape of American agriculture, one steadfast presence remains the backbone of rural communities and the source of our nation's food security: Family farms.
According to the most recent Census of Agriculture Farm Typology report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, family farms account for 96% of all U.S. farms. These include more than 1.7 million small family farms, 108,304 mid-size family farms, and 52,592 large-scale family farms, collectively producing $318 billion (USD) worth of agricultural products.
At U.S. Borax, we are honored to work side-by-side with these families and think they are worth celebrating.

World impact

The significance of U.S. agriculture extends far beyond our domestic borders. The country ranks as the world's second-largest agricultural trader, after the European Union.
Over the past 25 years, U.S. agricultural exports and imports have increased by $134 billion due to the economic emergence of many foreign economies and policy changes that have expanded U.S. access to international markets. This impressive growth in exports illustrates the dynamism of American agriculture, where family farms play a crucial role in production.


Family farmers face numerous challenges, including fluctuating commodity prices, unpredictable weather, and market competition. However, their resilience and determination to overcome these obstacles exemplifies the American spirit. They adapt to change, innovate, and find creative solutions to sustain their livelihoods.
We've been fortunate to see firsthand how family farms thrive by weaving both time-tested and modern, sustainable farming techniques into their daily operations. These farmers are the vanguards of innovation—deeply committed to conserving natural resources for the generations that follow. While they haven't abandoned classic approaches such as crop rotation, they're also quick to adopt advanced methods including integrated pest management, precision agriculture, and soil health monitoring. This fusion of traditional wisdom and technological innovation is driving sustainability in U.S. agriculture.
At U.S. Borax, we share this commitment to progressive, sustainable agriculture. Our products are OMRI Listed®, meeting the highest standards for organic farming. In addition, we conduct ongoing research that provides farmers with the latest knowledge to stay ahead of the curve.

Cultivating communities

The economic impact of family farms goes beyond agriculture. Rural areas make up 72% of the nation’s land area, house 46 million people, and are essential to natural resources, recreation, and environmental sustainability. Family farms bolster regional economies by supporting local businesses, creating jobs, and investing in rural infrastructure. Their collective efforts foster not only economic growth but also a strong sense of community and shared prosperity. At U.S. Borax, we echo this commitment to community well-being. We are deeply invested in supporting the communities where we operate our facilities, partnering with local organizations and initiatives that align with our values of sustainability and community growth.
We are proud of our 150-year history at U.S. Borax. And, part of our longevity is due family farms. Their tenacity and innovation helps make our journey a lasting one. Although we haven't been in the farming game for our entire history, there's no denying the mutual benefits and strong ties we've built with these farming communities over the years.
U.S. Borax stands alongside family farmers, providing them with effective and sustainable solutions. Contact us to find out more about how we can support your family farm’s boron needs.





U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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