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The number of farms grew from 2002 to 2007 and the number of female farm operators jumped, two of the findings of a survey of more than two million American farms.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts a census of U.S. farms every five years. The results of the 2007 survey were just released. The major findings of the census can be found in the slideshow above. The full census can be found here.
Nearly 300,000 farms began between 2002 and ’07, and there was a net increase of nearly 76,000 farms. Most of those new operations are smaller than existing farms. They earn less and their owners are more likely to earn income off the farm. Half are classified as either “retirement” farms or “lifestyle” farms.