Friday, March 11, 2011

Ag Facts Friday

Some thoughts to ponder this weekend…. Let’s be proactive about Pennsylvania Agriculture since it is the largest industry in the state. 

Pennsylvania has 63,000 farms with more than 7 million acres in farmland. The average size of a farm in Pennsylvania is 124 acres with the average age of the operator being 55 years of age. Pennsylvania ranks 4th in the United States for milk and dairy products, layers, and nursery, greenhouse, and floriculture.  The state also ranks 5th in cut Christmas trees and corn silage. 

Food and fiber industry encompasses three segments; the farmer, farm supply and processing and distribution. One in six jobs is related to agriculture. Every farmer has at least 10 businesses that are affected by their farm. Banks, insurance agencies, veterinarians, animal health stores, feed stores, agriculture builders and so many more are affected by the farm.

Pennsylvania is so fortunate to have ideal climate for agriculture, fertile soil, adequate rainfall, and dedicated farm families. Pennsylvania farmers also have unique marketing opportunities available to them. The southeastern region of Pennsylvania is only two to three hours driving distance from some of the largest cities in the Northeastern portion of the United States including Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Pittsburgh. Farmers have the opportunity to sell their commodities to the restaurants and businesses in these large cities. What an opportunity!

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