Who are we? Say the word "farmer" and most of us summon up an image that represents our everyday culture—be it a corn farmer in the Midwest, a rancher in Texas or an apple grower in Washington. Every five years, through the Census of Agriculture, we get a reminder that farmers are actually as diverse as the American landscape. It's true that the data is a bit dated by the time the numbers are finally crunched. The 2007 Census of Agriculture (released in February 2009) may not reflect the historically tumultuous 2008 farming season. However, it does give us a sense of the ongoing trends present in our profession. Here are several highlights. You can access the full details at www.agcensus.usda.gov.
- March 2009