Small Farms Make a Comeback

After many years of declines, the number of small farms in the U.S. showed a small increase in the mid-1980s.

small farms - knitted barn and farm animals

There may be hope for the future of small farms after all.

Photo by amebar/Fotolia

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The Census Bureau has noted a nationwide increase in the number of small farms over a four-year period, and believes this to be an indication that the historic "exodus to the cities" is reversing. According to the bureau's associate director, the number of small farms across the country (the term "small" is applied to spreads of less than 50 acres) has grown by 3%. While that may not sound like a significant gain, the total number of small farms had been decreasing for so long that any upward trend is worthy of note. (It's also interesting that 90% of all U.S. farm operations are owned by families or an individual, and that 48,000 of 50,000 corporations that own farms are themselves family-owned.)

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