This paper compares the characteristics of beginning operators and their farming operations with those of experienced
producers using data from the census of agriculture. Results of data analysis reveal that 99% of all beginning producers
are White. Of the very few minority beginning producers, N = 202, 44% are African Americans, 34% Asians, and 22% other
minorities. A higher proportion of beginning farmers grow vegetables and engage in cattle, sheep, and goat farming,
whereas experienced producers focus on oilseed and grain farming and dairy cattle. This research is a first step towards
building up an empirically based set of observations and findings about beginning farmers.