The Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years by the USDA. Numbers were released yesterday. Some especially exciting data is that of direct farm sales (which includes farmers’ markets and roadside stands).
In the U.S., the value of direct farm sales between 2002 and 2007 increased 30% (adjusted for inflation; at current dollars it’s 49%).
In Oklahoma—and god I hope I calculated this correctly—between 2002 and 2007 the value of direct farm sales increased 167% (adjusted for inflation; at current dollars it’s 208%)! And for the 3,194 farms that have direct sales, the average amount earned from the sales was $3,611. While certainly not the bread and butter, it was a 61% increase from 2002 (adjusted for inflation; 85% at current dollars). Something is a rumblin’, I can feel it. Do you know where your food comes from?
I wonder, when Oklahoma Food Co-op producers fill out these forms, do they include co-op sales as “direct farm sales”?
More interesting stuff about Oklahoma:
- 799 farms harvest 7,306 acres of produce for fresh market. 63 farms harvest 10,707 acres of produce for processing.
- Did you know we have 3 farms growing 15 acres of kiwi fruit here in Oklahoma?
- We have 518 farms with 1–9 milk cows. We have 6 farms that have 1,000 or more milk cows.
- We have 2,338 farms with 1–24 pigs or hogs. We have 41 farms that have 5,000 or more pigs or hogs.
- 114 farms sold 130,380,629 meat chickens in 2007.
- Female principal farm operators increased 24% between 2002–2007.
- The average age of the principal operator is 57.6.
- We have 35,087,269 acres in agricultural production.
I should stop now.