The decline of the family farm is no myth. According to the Census of Agriculture, a United States Department of Agriculture report revealed, “The number of U.S. farms fell sharply until the early 1970s after peaking at 6.8 million in 1935…by 2002, about 2.1 million farms remained.” The American Farmland Trust estimates an acre of U.S. farmland goes into development every two minutes, while they estimates Colorado has lost 1.26 million acres of agricultural land between 1997 and 2002. This comes out to be an average of 690 acres being lost per day, the third highest in the nation. Colorado is only one example of the trend of the decline of the family farm. Statistics show that Canada has a similar situation there. The number of their farms continues to drop, according to data from the 2006 Census of Agriculture, “declining 7.1% to 229,373 farms over the five-year period between the censuses. This represents 17,550 fewer farms than in 2001”. With all these facts, it is clear that the family farm is declining, and declining sharply at that. If this continues, the family farm will be gone before we know it.
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