Farms involved in local food sales differ from those that do not sell food locally

A chart showing farms engaged in local or no local food sales by farm sales class.

Farms reporting local food sales require more operator time, on average, than do farms without local food sales. The average farm with local food sales required 1.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) operator jobs (1 FTE job equals 2,000 hours worked annually), compared with 0.9 FTE operator job for farms without local food sales. This pattern held across farm sizes up to $250,000 in annual sales. For larger farms, there was no difference between the average number of FTE operators on farms with and without local food sales. Since the operators of large farms often market local food through intermediated channels, they may not face the same degree of labor intensity as operators selling directly to consumers. This chart is found in the December 2011 issue of Amber Waves magazine.

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