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



    New England Goes Against Grain in Farming Data

    USDA census shows more farmers are getting younger in New England. (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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