OnEarth Magazine released a story this week analyzing the ag census, titled, The Future of Food: Six things you should know about the state of the American farm. Among the sources is Rural Advancement Foundation International’s (RAFI) Executive Director Scott Marlow. Full article: https://www.onearth.org/articles/2014/07/whats-the-state-of-the-american-farm-the-usda-tackles-issues-of-growing-concern
An ever-smaller group of farms is wielding an ever-greater power in the marketplace—with megafarms currently averaging 2,400 acres of land and nearly $2.5 million in sales a year. Meanwhile, the number of farms under 2,000 acres—whether we’re talking about 30-acre vegetable plots or 500 acres of corn—has dropped commensurately. The biggest concern lurking inside these statistics, say a number of sustainable-agriculture advocates, isn’t that we’re losing our smallest farms (although we are losing them, and it is a concern); it’s that we’re losing our mid-size farms. According to Scott Marlow, executive director of the Rural Advancement Foundation International, these are the farms best-positioned to make the switch from conventional growing practices to more sustainable ones. And because they’re mid-sized rather than micro, they can supply substantial amounts of food to local wholesale markets, and get “farm-fresh” products into grocery stores, not just at the farmer’s market.