Massachusetts has 7,241 farms on 491,653 acres. The agricultural industry directly provides employment to 22,828 farm employees and produces an annual market value of over $475 million in agricultural goods. The average farm produces $65,624 worth of agricultural products on 68 acres.
Direct market sales is a key feature of Massachusetts agriculture. Massachusetts ranks 5th in the nation for direct market sales with over $100 million, and ranks 3rd in the nation for direct market sales per farm at $55,384. Direct market sales account for 21.1% of the state’s total sales of agricultural products; that is the highest proportion in the country. Additionally, Massachusetts ranks 8th in the nation for direct sales per capita.
Small and family orientated farm culture is prevalent in Massachusetts agriculture. The USDA defines small farms as farms with agricultural sales below $250,000. Small farms account for 94.2% of farms in Massachusetts while family or individually owned farms account for 79.7% of Massachusetts farms.
The average age of a Massachusetts principal operator is 59.1 years old. Female farmers represent 38.5% of all principal operators.
Source: 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture; U.S. Census Bureau