Having been a “city girl” most of my life, I quickly realized how very little I knew about life on a farm. The purpose of this site is to share insights from my evolving experiences living in rural Iowa. We will start slowly in terms of sharing, but once we get up to full speed, you will know as much as I do about enjoying and troubleshooting life.
Let’s start first by answering a simple question: What is Claypool Farms?
Claypool Farms is a Large-Scale Family Farm.
“Family farms play a dominant role in U.S. agriculture. In 2015, these farms accounted for 99 percent of U.S. farms and 89 percent of production. On family farms, the principal operators and their relatives (by blood or marriage) own more than half of the business’s assets—in short, a family owns and operates the farm.” [i]
Claypool Farms is typical of mid-size and large-scale farms in that we farm a mixture of land owned by a Claypool family member and land that we rent.
“Fifty-one percent of land in farms is in midsize and larger family farm operations, which are most commonly a mixture of rented and owned land.” [ii]
“[In 2014] In Iowa, 48% of land on farms was owned by a non-operator landlord, while 58% was owned by owner-operators or operator-landlords.” [iii]
“In 2014, the TOTAL survey results indicated that 39 percent of the 911 million acres of farmland in the contiguous 48 States was rented.” [iv]
“More than half of cropland is rented, compared with just over 25 percent of pastureland. In general, rental activity is concentrated in grain production areas.” [vi]
Also typical of most farmers, Claypool Farms has long-term (many year) relationships with our landlords.
“Most landlords have long-term relationships with their tenants.” [vii]
We live in a place with lots of space and few people.
“The total population in rural (nonmetro) counties stood at 46.2 million in July 2015, representing 14 percent of U.S. residents in 72 percent of the Nation’s land area.” [viii]
We also live on the top of a hill:
Definition of Terms:
“…landowner” denotes a person or entity that owns agricultural land, while the term “landlord” is reserved for a landowner who rents land to one or more agricultural operators… the term “owner-operator” refers to agricultural landowners who operate some or all of the land they own. Second, the phrase “operator landlord” describes farm operators who rent a portion of the land they own to other farm operators. A given farm operator who rents out land is both an owner-operator and an operator landlord… the term “non-operator landlord” describes landlords that own and rent out agricultural land but are not actively involved in farming…” [ix]
[i] Large Family Farms Continue To Dominate U.S. Agricultural Production at https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2017/march/large-family-farms-continue-to-dominate-us-agricultural-production/
[ii] Results of the 2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey at https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/land-use-land-value-tenure/farmland-ownership-and-tenure/. We are waiting for results of the 2017 agricultural census.
[iii] Page 16, https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/74672/60298_eib161.pdf?v=42607
[iv] Page 15, ibid.
[vi] Results of the 2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey at https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/land-use-land-value-tenure/farmland-ownership-and-tenure/
[vii] At https://www.iowafarmbureau.com/Article/Midwest-AgLand-Ownership-vs-Rental
[viii] Rural America at a Glance at https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/80894/eib-162.pdf?v=42684
[ix] Page 3, https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/74672/60298_eib161.pdf?v=42607