Every five years the United States Department of Agriculture collects data from the US census to determine the status of farming across the country. The numbers for Vermont’s agricultural sector are extremely favorable. Here is a summary of the Department’s key findings:
The number of farms in Vermont increased from 6,984 to 7,338.
Vermont land use increased 1% from 1,233,313 to 1,251723 acres.
The market value of Vermont’s agricultural products rose from $673,713,000 to $776,105,000
The number of farms principally operated by women was up 12%. Women make up 22% of Vermont’s principally owned farm operators.
Vermont’s farm population is aging with average age at 57.3 years, up from 56.5 years.
New Vermont farmers were up 28% in the 25-34 age bracket.
New Vermont principally operated farmers was up 28% from 26%.
Almost half of Vermont farmers held other jobs. Only 51% said that farming was their principal occupation.
Commenting on the report, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch said: “These trends are good news for Vermont. The rise in the number of farms and the increasing value of our agricultural products is a credit to Vermont farmers’ pioneer work in the local and sustainable food movement. We are especially cheered by the 30% increase in young farmers in our state. That bodes well for the future of Vermont agriculture and its importance to the overall economy.”