Hints from the SouthFree Access

Farm Growth


If you had to guess which state led the nation for the percentage increase in the number of farms, which would it be? Which state, then, had the highest percentage of new and beginning farmers in the country? Which state had the second youngest average age of producers? Finally, which state is number two in the percentage of female producers and producers with military service?

Alaska is the correct answer for all four questions! Surprised? I know I, for one, was very surprised. The census of agriculture shows farming in Alaska is thriving, with some five-year growth rates as high as 40 percent. Many different sectors saw increases in the number of farms with cut flowers, hogs, vegetables, bees and honey, bedding plants, food crops grown under cover and more.

Increases were also seen in the value of the food sold directly to consumers as well as the value of sales of all crops and all livestock. In the past few years, the national number of farms is down 3.2 percent. Alaska’s producers who were new and beginning accounted for 46 percent. 47 percent of those were run by females, and 14 percent have military service. The national average age of a producer is 57.5 years, compared to Alaska’s average age of 55.2 years.

That is some refreshing news for a change. It seems like the last frontier has a bright future in agriculture.

 

God bless you all, RHM.

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