Sunday, February 8, 2009

~ Interesting facts/figures from the 2007 Agriculture Census

The 2007 Census counted 2,204,792 farms in the United States. This was 75, 810 more farms than the 2002 census. This is approximately 300,000 new farms since 2002. The trend of the new farms is a more diversified production. Other aspects of farming are on the rise such as organic, value-added and specialty production. Smaller acreage, lower sales and younger operators that also have to work an off the farm job. More than 36% of farms are classified as residential/lifestyle farms. More than 21% are considered retirement farms where the owner/operators makes less that $250,00 and the owners is retired.
Things are definitely changing :) The 2007 Census counted nearly 30 percent more WOMEN as principal farm operators. Also Hispanic, American Indian, Asian and Black farm operators increased as well.

Census figures show the continuing trend toward more small or very large farms. The number of farms with sales less the $2,500 increased by 74,000. The number of farms with sales of more than $500,000 grew by 46,000 during the same time period ( I personally don't know any farm in this state making that much money! )

The Census found that 57 percent of all farmers have Internet access which was up 50% from 2002 . Of that 57%, 58% have high speed Internet access.
Other "firsts" in the 2007 Census included questions about on-farm energy generation, community-supported agriculture arrangements and historic barns.
The Census of Agriculture, conducted every five years, is a complete count of the nation's farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation. Census results are available online at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/ .

6 comments:

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

very encouraging news. also, I think the "victory gardens" are on the rise, growing as much as you can with the little bit of dirt that you have.

Egghead said...

I agree with Joanna...very encouraging. Thanks for the data today. If my dad were here I think he would be smiling huge knowing this news.

ga.farmwoman said...

It is some valuable information.
It is good to have the census info, but it sure was aggravating filling out all those forms. They sent 3 different census here.
By time I filled out that 3rd very very long one, some bad words may have slipped out.
No really, census of all types is invaluable. Just think of all the family trees that just researched through old census records.
Good post.
Have a good day.
Pam

ChristyACB said...

I wonder if that captures the sheer number of folks who have such big gardens they do a little trading on the side? ;)

DayPhoto said...

Not only did we fill it out three times, we then got two phone calls to 'verify' things.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

Deb said...

joanna,
I think your right - they have become very necessary for so many people.


egghead,
your welcome :) My Dad finds it encouraging - people really need to get back to basics in order to weather this storm for sure.

pam,
Yes - it was aggrivating. I didn't fill it out....they called and called until finally I answered and told them I wasn't giving them all that personal info. I'd take my chance on the 100 fine they were threatening me with. The lady on the other end of the line was very nice and we filled out just the questions I wanted to answer - the ones I thought would make a difference and not reveal anything personal.
I didn't mind filling it out but I think Uncle Sam knows too much about our personal lives already, I wasn't going to offer it up myself.

christyabc,
Good questions - I don't think it does but I could be wrong.

Linda,
It can be a hassle for sure but as Pam said, they really are a valuable tool.

Thanks for your comments everyone!