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Young operators are not uncommon on farms involved in rural development-related on-farm activities

Monday, August 13, 2012

Five on-farm rural development-related activities were examined in a recent ERS study. Using data from the 2007 Agricultural Resource Management Survey, the characteristics, such as operator age, of farms participating in organic farming, value-added agriculture, direct marketing, agritourism, or renewable energy/electricity production were considered. With the exception of agritourism farms, younger farmers (under 45 years of age) were more likely to operate development-related farms than they were for all other farms. Young operators were most common on energy/electricity farms (26 percent). Older farmers (65 years of age and older) played a larger role as operators of agritourism farms (40.4 percent) than for the other farm activities. This chart comes from Farm Activities Associated With Rural Development Initiatives, ERR-134, May 2012.

Marketing channels for locally grown food

Friday, April 6, 2012

USDA's 2008 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) measured local food sales by asking farm operators whether they sold directly to consumers at farmers' markets, roadside stands, onfarm stores, and community-supported agriculture or through intermediated sales to local grocers, restaurants, and regional distributors during the year. When intermediated sales are combined with farmers' direct-to-consumer sales, the size of the U.S. local food market was $4.8 billion in 2008. Over half of local food sales-$2.7 billion-were from farms selling local foods exclusively through intermediated marketing channels. Farms using both direct-to-consumer and intermediated marketing channels accounted for a quarter of local food sales ($1.2 billion). This chart is found in the December 2011 issue of Amber Waves magazine.