The Census of Agriculture Shows Progress in Maintaining Diverse Producers in Agriculture

The Census of Agriculture Shows Progress in Maintaining Diverse Producers in Agriculture

by Rural Coalition, May 2015
The Rural Coalition and its member and allies now have the data to demonstrate real results in our shared work of the past two decades to achieve equity and transformation in agriculture and to keep farm families on the land. The 2012 Census of Agriculture, with most data collected in 2013 and released earlier this year, documents that historically discriminated farmers and ranchers have not only stemmed previous declines in their participation in U.S. Agriculture, but significantly increased their connection with USDA.

The new Agriculture Census shows a combined increase of 8,372 American Indian, African American and Asian American principal operators and an increase of 11,430 Hispanic principal operators. While there may be overlaps between the race and ethnicity categories, the combined total growth among is just shy of 20,000 principal operators.

 

While not all of these are new producers, the numbers show that not only have retired producers been replaced, but new producers or new to USDA producers have replaced them. This net increase reflects a contribution of almost 20% toward the Secretary of Agriculture’s stated goal of 100,000 new farmers.

 

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SDA Principal Operators
2007 2012   %Change
American Indian 34,706 37,851 3,145 9%
Asian 11,214 13,669 2,455 22%
Black 30,599 33,371 2,772 9%
Totals 76,519 84,891 8,372 11%
 
  2007 2012   %Change
Total Hispanic 55,570 67,000 11,430 21%

 

With respect to all producers, the news from the 2012 Census of Agriculture is even stronger – it shows a combined net increase of 11,369 American Indian, African American and Asian American producers and an increase of 17,234 Hispanic producers. Again, while there may be overlaps between the race and ethnicity categories, the combined total net growth in all operators exceeds 28,000. This net increase would reflect a contribution of over 28% toward the Secretary of Agriculture’s goal of 100,000 new farmers.

                 

All SDA Farm Operators
2007 2012   % Change
American Indian 55,889 58,475 2,586 5%
Asian 18,289 22,140 3,851 21%
Black 39,697 44,629 4,932 12%
Totals 113,875 125,244 11,369 10%
 
  2007 2012   %Change
Hispanic 82,462 99,734 17,272 21%

 

 

For more information contact Lorette Picciano of Rural Coalition at lpicciano@ruralco.org.

Posted in Success Stories.

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