Information collected by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) directly from farmers and ranchers shows both farm numbers and land in farms have ongoing small percentage declines since the last Census in 2012. At the same time, there continue to be more of the largest and smallest operations and fewer middle-sized farms. The average age of all farmers and ranchers continues to rise.
“We are pleased to deliver Census of Agriculture results to America, and especially to the farmers and ranchers who participated,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We can all use the Census to tell the tremendous story of U.S. agriculture and how it is changing. As a data-driven organization, we are eager to dig in to this wealth of information to advance our goals of supporting farmers and ranchers, facilitating rural prosperity, and strengthening stewardship of private lands efficiently, effectively, and with integrity.”
“The Census shows new data that can be compared to previous censuses for insights into agricultural trends and changes down to the county level,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “While the current picture shows a consistent trend in the structure of U.S. agriculture, there are some ups and downs since the last Census as well as first-time data on topics such as military status and on-farm decisionmaking. To make it easier to delve into the data, we are pleased to make the results available in many online formats including a new data query interface, as well as traditional data tables.”
Census data provide valuable insights into demographics, economics, land and activities on U.S. farms and ranches. Some key highlights include:
- There are 2.04 million farms and ranches (down 3.2% from 2012) with an average size of 441 acres (up 1.6%) on 900 million acres (down 1.6%).
- The 273,000 smallest (1-9 acres) farms make up 0.1% of all farmland while the 85,127 largest (2,000 or more acres) farms make up 58% of farmland.
- Just 105,453 farms produced 75% of all sales in 2017, down from 119,908 in 2012.
- Of the 2.04 million farms and ranches, the 76,865 making $1 million or more in 2017 represent just over two-thirds of the $389 billion in total value of production while the 1.56 million operations making under $50,000 represent just 2.9%.
- Farm expenses are $326 billion with feed, livestock purchased, hired labor, fertilizer and cash rents topping the list of farm expenses in 2017.
- Average farm income is $43,053. A total of 43.6% of farms had positive net cash farm income in 2017.
- Ninety-six percent of farms and ranches are family owned.
- Farms with Internet access rose from 69.6% in 2012 to 75.4% in 2017.
- A total of 133,176 farms and ranches use renewable energy producing systems, more than double the 57,299 in 2012.
- In 2017, 130,056 farms sold directly to consumers, with sales of $2.8 billion.
- Sales to retail outlets, institutions and food hubs by 28,958 operations are valued at $9 billion.
For the 2017 Census of Agriculture, NASS changed the demographic questions to better represent the roles of all persons involved in on-farm decision making. As a result, in 2017 the number of producers is up by nearly 7% to 3.4 million, because more farms reported multiple producers. Most of the newly identified producers are female. While the number of male producers fell 1.7% to 2.17 million from 2012 to 2017, the number of female producers increased by nearly 27% to 1.23 million.
Other demographic highlights include:
- The average age of all producers is 57.5, up 1.2 years from 2012.
- The number of producers who have served in the military is 370,619, or 11% of all. They are older than the average at 67.9.
- There are 321,261 young producers age 35 or less on 240,141 farms. Farms with young producers making decisions tend to be larger than average in both acres and sales.
- More than any other age group, young producers make decisions regarding livestock, though the difference is slight.
- One in four producers is a beginning farmer with 10 or fewer years of experience and an average age of 46.3 years. Farms with new or beginning producers making decisions tend to be smaller than average in both acres and value of production.
- Thirty-six percent of all producers are female and 56% of all farms have at least one female decisionmaker. Farms with female producers making decisions tend to be smaller than average in both acres and value of production.
- Female producers are most heavily engaged in the day-to-day decisions along with record keeping and financial management.
NASS sends questionnaires to nearly 3 million potential U.S. farms and ranches. Nearly 25 percent of those who responded did so online.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) is soliciting proposals for new research and extension projects for the period July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. The center provides research project access to 5,358 acres of Northern California Coast Range landscape which, unlike the UC Natural Reserve System, can be manipulated to provide field conditions matching research needs. This setting provides a rich, diversified opportunity for natural resources and agricultural research and extension programs, especially on topics pertinent to oak woodlands and rangelands of the central and northern coast of California.
Research proposals must be submitted through http://hrec.ucanr.edu/Research/Submitting_a_Proposal. The deadline to submit a research proposal is May 17, 2019. 2019-2020 Research Rates can be found at http://hrec.ucanr.edu/Research/Current_Research_Rates.
Among the highlights of HREC are:
- A wide variety of elevations from 600 feet to 3000 feet with four principle vegetation types (grass, woodland-grass, dense woodland, and chaparral) interspersed with riparian corridors around natural springs and ponds and seasonal vernal pools. HREC also has 25 acres of irrigated pasture.
- A rich flora and fauna including more than 600 plant and 300 animal species. HREC also has one of the most intensively studied resident herds of Columbian black-tailed deer on the West Coast.
- A variety of land management regimes across a mosaic of pastures, from heavily grazed by our sheep flock to biological reserves not grazed since the 1950s, from areas which have not seen fire in decades to a wide swath burned by wildfire in July/August of 2018.
- A staff skilled in a wide variety of agricultural techniques and methods, from animal husbandry and wildlife management to irrigation and equipment fabrication, all available to assist with project tasks.
- A rich vault of previous research to reference for past data, particularly in the fields of plant and animal science, ecology, hydrology, entomology, fire science, and natural resource management.
- An extensive, well maintained road network which provides easy access to most of the center lands.
- A conference hall for larger group events, a field lab, a newly renovated lab, a greenhouse, a large lysimeter, fully equipped shops for fabricating or repairing equipment, a fleet of vehicles and agricultural equipment to use at the center, and various warehouses available for equipment and sample storage.
- Accommodations for longer visits, ranging from dormitory-style bunkhouse to private houses. Hopland REC also has fiber optic high-speed internet and wifi service throughout its headquarters area.
Potential researchers should direct questions to John Bailey, Hopland REC director, at email@example.com.
The University invites comments on a proposed new Academic Personnel Manual Section 011 (APM - 011), Academic Freedom, Protection of Professional Standards, and Responsibilities of Non-Faculty Academic Appointees.
Currently, APM - 010 (Academic Freedom) defines academic freedom as it pertains to faculty and defines the freedom of scholarly inquiry for students, as it derives from the faculty's academic freedom. APM - 015 (The Faculty Code of Conduct) defines the corresponding responsibilities as it pertains to faculty only. Although APM - 010 states that it is not intended to “diminish the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by other academic appointees,” APM - 010 and APM - 015 do not address how these concepts apply or do not apply to non-faculty academic appointees. The proposed new policy is intended to address the academic privileges, rights, obligations, and responsibilities of non-faculty academic appointees.
The proposed new APM - 011, Academic Freedom, Protection of Professional Standards, and Responsibilities of Non-Faculty Academic Appointees, is posted at: https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/academic-personnel-policy/policies-under-review/apm-011.html.
If you have any questions or if you wish to comment, please contact Robin Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than July 1, 2019.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
To create a culture of health and wellness at UC ANR, the Staff Assembly Wellness Committee crafted an infographic to make it easy for staff and academics to adopt healthful practices at meetings. A pdf version of the "Healthy Meeting Best Practices" may be downloaded from the Staff Assembly website and printed on demand.
The best practices, reviewed and approved by Lorrene Ritchie, director of UCANR's Nutrition Policy Institute, are based on the comprehensive UC Living Well Healthy Meeting and Event Guide, which is also available for download on the Staff Assembly website.
In short, the wellness committee is encouraging all meeting planners to
o incorporate movement in the meeting agenda
o serve water – preferably from the tap in reusable pitchers
o focus on fruits, veggies and whole grains if meals or refreshments are provided
o cut back on the use of disposable items (like plastic cups and cutlery)
To get the guidelines into everybody's hands, the committee has printed the best practices on cleaning cloths – the kind you can use for eyeglasses, your cell phone or computer monitor. Your staff assembly ambassador distributed the cloths at each UC ANR location. If you don't know who your ambassador is, check the list on the Staff Assembly website.
The Wellness Committee promoted the implementation of Healthy Meeting Best Practices with a competition April 1 - 18. Pictures of healthy meeting best practices were shared on social media with the hashtag #UCANRhealthymeeting. The San Bernardino County Master Gardener program tweeted the winning picture, a mini video which showed six staff members exercising with hula hoops and tension bands. The office won a pitcher for serving infused water.
If you have questions or comments about the Healthy Meeting Best Practices or the April competition, please fill out the form on the SA Council Healthy Meeting Best Practices page.
- Author: Liz Sizensky
The 40th EcoFarm Conference takes place Jan. 22-25, 2020. The Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to nurture safe, healthy, just and ecologically sustainable farms, food systems and communities by bringing people together for education, alliance building, advocacy and celebration.
EcoFarm has grown into a broad network of grassroots leadership and has facilitated an exchange of knowledge for over 60,000 people. Held annually at Asilomar Conference Grounds, the event attracts hundreds of organic farmers from across the country.
EcoFarm wants to hear your ideas for workshops, speakers and films to be featured at the 2020 conference. This is chance to present your work to a dedicated audience. Workshop/Speaker/Film proposals will be collected through June 1, 2019.