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New data on food awareness: 59% of Americans unaware that farmers make up less than 1% of the US labor force

Land O’Lakes, Inc. celebrates farmers with new data that dispels misconceptions around agriculture and farmers; announces 'all ag' collegiate football team

New data on food awareness: 59% of Americans unaware that farmers make up less than 1% of the US labor force


ARDEN HILLS, Minn. (Oct. 12, 2022) – For National Farmer’s Day, Land O’Lakes, Inc. is putting farmers at the front to raise awareness of the critical role they play in society with the release of the “State of the American Farmer” survey.

The survey, commissioned in partnership with Wakefield Research, polled 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults to reveal some major misconceptions about the state of farming and how people’s food preferences shape their view.

Key insights include:

-On average, Americans believe that less than half (46%) of U.S. farms are family owned and operated (compared with the actual 98%), and that just 43% of what they buy comes from these family farms (compared with the actual 88%). 

-Despite some prevailing misconceptions, most Americans express interest in the source of their food: 87% are at least somewhat interested in knowing where their groceries were grown or produced, with millennials the most likely to be extremely or very interested in knowing where their food comes from.  

-Nearly all (94%) say it’s at least somewhat important that their groceries be grown or sourced sustainably — yet when it comes to sustainable farming, over a quarter (26%) are unaware of the potential for sustainability in farming to increase farmers’ profits.

“As a company that is also a 3,100 farmer- and retail-member-owned co-op, it is our duty to showcase the tremendous work they do every day that goes virtually unnoticed by many,” said Heather Malenshek, chief marketing officer for Land O’Lakes, Inc. “We hope to generate awareness of the incredible contributions that farmers across the country make every day to feed millions while simultaneously creating a dialogue around the importance of agriculture in our lives.”

To illustrate support, Land O’Lakes launched “Farmers Are Incredible,” a multiplatform creative campaign rooted in celebrating National Farmer’s Day and emphasizing the importance of farmers and the agriculture industry year-round. The campaign features striking imagery of the co-op’s farmer-members to shine a light on them and their work. A “Rooted in Tomorrow” microsite complements the creative and acts as a hub to raise awareness of the hard truths, defining data points and perspectives that contribute to why Farmers Are Incredible.

Land O’Lakes will bring the farming and football communities together on the Big Ten Network on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Nebraska-Purdue game. The activation will include special halftime choreography, LED-board static ads and Jumbotron video ads. Additionally, Land O’Lakes will spotlight current and former Big Ten players from farming families and communities for an “all-ag” team with nostalgic player cards telling their stories. The full roster includes Chad Greenway, Josey Jewell, Cameron Jurgens, Vince Biegel, Cade Stover, Garrett Nelson, Drew Ott, Jordy Nelson, Jason Brown and Tyler Biadasz.

For more information on Land O’Lakes’ commitment to the farming community, visit


About Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2021 annual sales of $16 billion, Land O’Lakes is one of the nation’s largest cooperatives, ranking 232 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 100 years of operation, Land O’Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Truterra. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O’Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minnesota.

4001 Lexington Avenue North Arden Hills, MN 55126 | Mailing: P.O. Box 64101 St. Paul, MN 55164-0101 | 651.375.2222