Where Have All the Direct-Marketing Farms Gone?

Patterns Revealed from the 2017 Census of Agriculture

Keywords: Local Foods, Census of Agriculture, Direct-to-Consumer Agricultural Sales

Abstract

Food system researchers and practitioners have used the U.S. Census of Agriculture historically as a bellwether to measure changes in the direct-marketing sector. The U.S. Department of Agricul­ture has made considerable improvements in meas­uring this sector in recent years, which formed the basis for the phrasing of the 2017 Census of Agri­culture direct-marketing questions. While the new ques­tions make it challenging to infer direct-marketing trends between 2012 and 2017, the 2017 Census of Agriculture data nonetheless reveals a considerable decline in the number of farms selling directly to consumers and wholesalers in the U.S. We discuss possible explanations for this decline and implica­tions for the direct-marketing sector.

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Author Biographies

Jeffrey K. O'Hara, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Marketing Service

Matthew C. Benson, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Food and Nutrition Service

Published
2019-08-23
How to Cite
O’Hara, J., & Benson, M. (2019). Where Have All the Direct-Marketing Farms Gone? Patterns Revealed from the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(1), 31-37. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2019.091.046