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Informational Memorandum
Subject:USDA 1997 Census of Agriculture State &County Demographics of Farmers
Date of Memorandum:04/21/1999
Expiration Date:
Signed By:Smith, Roland
FCA Contact Person:Holland, Tom
Contact Phone:703-883-4484
List of Attachments:none


April 21, 1999

To: Chairman, Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer
Each Farm Credit System Institution

From: Roland E. Smith, Chief Examiner /s/
Office of Examination

Subject: USDA 1997 Census of Agriculture I previously communicated in an Informational Memorandum dated November 25, 1998, the examination focus areas for the Fiscal Year 1999/2000 planning cycle. One of the four focus areas related to Young, Beginning, and Small Farmers Program, and Minority Farmers. Each association should analyze the demographics of the territory serviced to determine the potential markets of farmers and ranchers that are considered young, beginning, or small operators, and minorities. Subsequent to that study, each association should evaluate how well its lending programs service these markets by determining the market penetration for these categories. Determining the extent of your market penetration and evaluating any disparities may reflect areas where additional marketing opportunities exist.

One of the database resources that might help in the analysis of your territory is the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Census of Agriculture available on the Internet at the following address:

Specifically, State and county level tenure and demographic characteristics of farmers in 1997 are available at this website. This information is found under Census of Agriculture; Volume 1: National, State and County Tables; state of interest; state and county of interest. This data contains information on such characteristics as gender, race and national origin, age, and other information about farms and farmers by county, and thus for the demographic profile of your institution’s territory.

If you have questions about how to obtain demographic information for your institution’s territory, you may call the USDA Census of Agriculture directly at (800) 523-3215. Highlights of the national Census of Agriculture have been compiled in a brochure entitled Census of Agriculture Quick Facts, and may be obtained upon request from this toll free number.

In closing, I want to thank you and your staff for the continued cooperation given to Farm Credit Administration (FCA) examiners. Because we are all working towards the same goal, I believe that sharing information will help all of us maintain a successful, safe, and sound Farm Credit System that appropriately serves agriculture.

If you have questions, please contact the Director of your respective FCA Field Office, or Thomas J. Holland, Director, Special Examination and Supervision Division, Office of Examination, at (703) 883-4483, or correspond on the Internet at e-mail address