From the FarmPlate glossary:
A family farm is a farm owned and operated by a family and likely passed down from generation to generation. Family members make the management decisions, provide a significant portion of the labor and often live on or near the farm. It may be a full-time or part-time operation run on land that is owned or leased by the family. An open definition of the term recognizes that the “family” may or may not consist solely of related family members, but may also be people who are committed to each other in a less defined way. Family farms are increasingly threatened by industrial agriculture, but in an effort to flourish, many family farms have found alternative markets that focus on specialty items, organic food and/or local distribution of food products. Small family farms are more likely to recognize the importance of nourishing the soil and protecting the environment for the sake of future generations than larger industrial operations. Family farms are also often, but not always, small farms.