Minnesota Reformer: Glimmers of hope in Ag Census

The Census of Agriculture was released last week, and the headlines reflected the well-known but unfortunate trends in U.S. agriculture — we continue to lose farmers and farmland, and of those remaining, the farms are getting bigger and bigger.

But there’s also some good news in the ag census, especially for Minnesotans.

Although the number of farms declined, Minnesota has more farmers in 2022 than we did in 2017, bucking a national trend. And, a significant number of those farmers are women, people of color and new or beginning farmers.

The Census of Agriculture, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture every five years, works to be a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches, and the crops and livestock they produce. Like the U.S. population census, the ag census relies on survey responses from producers, but also uses statistical models to account for under coverage and nonresponses. With data going back to 1840, the ag census helps us see trends and understand what’s happening on our working lands across the nation.

Read the rest of the article by Ariel Kagan.