USDA says farming is thriving in Alaska

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When you think of thriving farming states, you don’t really think about Alaska. But according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alaska is doing very well in the agriculture sector.

In the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Alaska had the highest increase in number of farms since 2012, highest percentage of new and beginning farmers in the country, second youngest average age of producers and the second most female producers.

Since 2012, the state has seen increases in number of farms with cut flowers, hogs, layers, vegetables, bees, bedding plants and food crops grown under cover. The state also saw increases in value of food sold directly to consumers and value of sales of all crops and all livestock.

“This census shows how bright the future of agriculture is in the Land of the Midnight Sun,” the USDA said. “It’s exciting to witness the growth of agriculture being fueled by the demand for local food, innovation and the increasingly diverse number of crops and livestock being produced.”

Overall, the number of farms in the state has increased 30 percent and 46 percent of all producers are new and beginning producers, well ahead of the national average of 27 percent.

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