There are 7,755 farms in Massachusetts working on over 523,000 acres to produce $492 million in agricultural products. The average farm produces $63,470 of agricultural products on just 68 acres. Massachusetts farms provide employment to nearly 28,000 workers in the Commonwealth.While nationally the U.S. witnessed a decline in agriculture from 2007 to 2012, Massachusetts was one of the few states that experienced a 1% growth in both number of farms and acres in farmland.
At nearly $48 million, the state ranks 5th in the nation for direct market sales and 3rd in the nation for direct market sales per operation. Direct market sales account for 10% of the state’s total sales of agricultural products.
Massachusetts ranks 6th in the nation for number of farms with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA); a 95% increase since 2007. Over this same time period the state saw growth in agri-tourism sales of 127%.
80% of Massachusetts farms are family owned. 95% fit the category of “small farms” according to the USDA definition of sales below $250,000.
The average age of a Massachusetts principal operator is 57.8 years old. Female farmers represent 32% of all principal operators; a 10% increase since 2002.
Agricultural land preservation, environmental conservation, energy efficiency and business planning are some of the keys to the future viability of our Massachusetts agricultural enterprises.
Source: 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture