Here are some quick facts about Massachusetts farming, compliments of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources:
- Massachusetts is 2nd in New England for direct sales of farm products to consumers. At $42M in direct sales, Massachusetts farmers were responsible for 40 percent of New England’s overall total.
- Massachusetts ranks 9th nationally in total value of direct sales, following states such as California, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington (graph, page 5)
- Massachusetts ranks 2nd nationally in value of average direct sales of farm products to consumers at $25,356 per farm.
- More than 80 percent of Massachusetts farms are family-owned. Over 95 percent fit the category of “small farms“, which means their sales fall below $250,000.
- Massachusetts ranks 1st in the U.S. for farmland value at $12,202 per acre.
- Female farm operators account for 29 percent of the farm operators in MA, up from 21 percent in 2002.
- Massachusetts increased its number of organic farms from 129 in 2002 to 295 in 2007, and its organic sales from $7.8M in sales in 2002 to $17.5M in 2007.
- Massachusetts’ agri-tourism income totaled $5.3M, up from $665,000 in 2002.