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Employment: Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers




Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers held nearly 1.4 million jobs in 2002. About 84 percent were self-employed. Most farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers oversee crop production activities, while others manage livestock and dairy production. A smaller number are involved in agricultural services, such as contract harvesting and farm labor contracting.

The soil, topography of the land, and climate determine the type of farming and ranching done in a particular area. For example, California, Wisconsin, New York, and Pennsylvania lead the country in milk production, while Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California lead in egg production. Texas, California, Mississippi, Georgia, and Arizona are the biggest cotton producers; and Kansas, North Dakota, Washington, and Montana are the biggest wheat producers.