Gentleman farmer

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In the United States of America, a gentleman farmer is a landowner who has a farm (gentleman's farm) as part of his estate and who farms mainly for pleasure rather than for profit or sustenance.[1][2]

The farm can vary from under ten to hundreds or even thousands of acres, and may produce any number of types of grains, poultry, or other livestock. A gentleman farmer employs labourers and may also employ a farm manager, and the farm is usually not the chief source of his income. He generally has his own private income, works in a profession, owns a large business elsewhere, or some combination of the three.[3][4][5][6]

Some notable gentlemen farmers include James Roosevelt I, the father of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; Dwight D. Eisenhower, who retired to a farm near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania after leaving the White House; Winthrop Rockefeller, son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who moved to Arkansas in 1953 and established Winrock Farms on Petit Jean Mountain; James Jefferson Webster; who owned multiple business and served in the Rockingham County local government; Frederick Hinde Zimmerman;[7] Frank C. Rathje; William Locke Allison, known for Allison Woods, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995,[8] and Robert Williams Daniel, a bank executive who survived the sinking of the Titanic and later married Margery Durant, daughter of General Motors founder Billy Durrant, and was elected to the Virginia Senate in 1935. His farm, Brandon, one of the oldest continuous agricultural operations in the United States, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969,[8] and was further declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1985.[9][10][11]

The Collins English Dictionary defines a United States gentleman farmer as a rich man who can afford to farm for pleasure, or a rich man who farms not to earn, but because he is interested in it (paraphrase). It defines a United Kingdom gentleman farmer as one who is actively involved in farming but does not do it for a living, or a person who happens to own a farm but does not farm it himself (paraphrase).[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Definition - "Gentleman Farmer"". Oxford University Press. 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016. A country gentleman who has a farm as part of his estate.
  2. ^ "Definition - Gentleman farmer". Merriam-Webster, An Encyclopædia Britannica Company. Retrieved 25 June 2016. A man who farms mainly for pleasure rather than for profit
  3. ^ Claudius Loudon, John (1839). "An encyclopædia of agriculture ... Fourth edition, etc - Book I Agricultural Artists (Page 1123)". Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, &Longmans. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  4. ^ Kames, Lord Henry Home (1776). The Gentleman Farmer: Being an Attempt to Improve Agriculture by Subjecting it to the Test of Rational Principles. W. Creech. p. 67. Retrieved 25 June 2015. gentlemen farmers lord acreage sheep.
  5. ^ Quinn, Tom (1 April 2012). Life on the Old Farm (Chapter - A Farming Dynasty). David & Charles. ISBN 9781446354773. Retrieved 25 June 2016. My father was a gentleman farmer in the sense that he had a private income... he didn't need to worry too much if the farm itself didn't make any money.
  6. ^ "Gentleman farmer". Encarta. Archived from the original on 20 September 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  7. ^ Unsigned (22 September 1924). "Fred Zimmerman Obituary". Daily Republican Register.
  8. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 9 July 2010.
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference nhlsum was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ James Dillon (17 October 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Brandon, Brandon Plantation "Lower Brandon"" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying four photos, interior and exterior, from 1969 and 1974 (32 KB)
  11. ^ Staff, Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission, James W. Moody, Jr., Director (24 July 1969). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Brandon" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) (at Virginia DHR, includes map of the plantation)
  12. ^ "Collins: "gentleman farmer"". Collins. Retrieved 9 February 2021.