New England Goes Against Grain in Farming Data | NECN
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New England Goes Against Grain in Farming Data

Between 2007-2012, Maine showed 40 percent increase in farmers ages 34 or younger

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, Aug. 29, 2014)

    It's summer harvest time for New England farmers, and a USDA census shows more of those farmers are getting younger.

    Between 2007 and 2012, Maine alone showed a 40 percent increase in farmers 34 years old and younger.

    There's still affordable land and the opportunity to tap into a strong consumer demand for locally grown food.

    Seventeen-year-old Alana Chipman is considering joining her older sister as the eighth generation to run her family farm in Poland, Maine.

    "I think of myself trying to work somewhere in a building and I just can't think of it, I love being outside. I've just always worked in the fields and I really enjoy that," she said.

    Maine's Commissioner of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation Walt Whitcomb says it's a trend that makes sense here because the geography makes it possible for farms to get food to people quickly and the state also offers a lot of programs to help beginner farmers.

    The region is bucking a national decline in the number of farms. The USDA census showed an increase in the number of farms in every state in New England. 

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