"We need your help to ensure that decisions about U.S. agriculture accurately represent Virginia, our communities and our industry," said VDACS Commissioner Matthew J. Lohr. "For every 158 people in America there is one farm. I urge you to respond to the Census – Virginia is counting on the information to help ensure a continued supply of food, fiber and fuel for generations to come."
Do the eyes of the Mom at your house light up when you give her a shrub, tree, plant or rhizome for her garden? Does she love a picnic in the park or an elegant dinner at a local restaurant? Would she wax poetic over a gift certificate for horseback riding lessons? Does she remember fondly the days spent on her grandparents’ farm when she was a kid?
According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), the number of farms in Virginia in 2012 is estimated at 46,200. This is down 200 farms from the 2011 survey. Surveys are conducted by the Virginia Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The number of farms with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales decreased by 300 farms, while operations with more than $100,000 increased by 100 farms.
Total land in farms, at 8.05 million acres, increased 100,000 acres from 2011. The average farm size is 174 acres, up three acres from the previous year.
The first regulation announced by FDA emphasizes measures that farmers and produce packers should take to prevent the contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables. The second regulation includes preventive measures for the manufacture of food products.
All too often, however, the life-changing event comes from a transition issue, not a monetary offer. What does a farmer do when the kids are grown and settled nicely into non-farm life, especially if the “kids” currently running the farm are 65 or 70 years old and the farm owner is 90 plus?