Who’s excited for the agricultural census?

I know I am. We know from the latest agriculture census — by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — that growth in the number of young farmers in Maine has far outpaced national trends.

In May, we’ll get a closer look at the breakdown of those increases, by county. In the meantime, the data from the (mouthful alert) quinquennial census shows us change in primary farm operators by age group for each county going back to 1997.

Who gained the most young farmers from 1997 to 2007, you ask? Penobscot County.

In preparation for the release of 2012 data, here’s an interactive look at the current county-level data, showing which Maine counties are gaining the most from Maine’s overall rising number of farmers. I’ll be updating the chart when the new data is out and providing additional views to slice and dice the numbers in different ways.

(Usage note: The first two maps use 1997 as a base year. The 2007 figures calculate change in primary farm operators relative to 2002. Use the dropdown menu to filter for different age groups.)

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Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.