Magazine

Examiner

Yes, female farmers rock Massachusetts

The state has the most in New England, and their ranks are on the rise.

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Unless noted, all figures are from 2012, the last year of the USDA’s agricultural census.

7,755 — Number of farms in Massachusetts

2,507 — Number with female principal operators in 2012, up 12.6 percent from 2007

94,598 — Acres of Massachusetts farmland with female principal operators

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38 acres — Average size of Massachusetts farms run by female principal operators

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32 percent — Percentage of principal farm operators in the state who are women. That’s the highest percentage among New England states and the third highest nationwide.

Age breakdown of the state’s female principal farm operators

Top crops for Massachusetts farms with female principal operators (in acres):

9,434 — hay

1,734 — vegetable

1,020 — berries (including cranberries)

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677 — cut Christmas trees

665 — cranberries only

Top commodities, by sales, for Massachusetts farms with female principal operators:

$21,359,000 — nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod

$12,087,000 — vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes

$5,504,000 — fruits, tree nuts, and berries

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$3,840,000 — horses, ponies, mules, burros, and donkeys

20 CENTS — Amount that farmers get of every dollar Americans spend on food

Sources: USDA; American Agri-Women