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Schoharie County surveys its farmers

Dec 20, 2022 12:52 pm

Tyler A. McNeil reports for the Daily Gazette that on Jan. 6 Schoharie County will begin conducting a survey to gauge the quantity, challenges and output of farmers in one of the state's most rural counties. “My main concern is that farmers don’t have a ton of time to fill out a pages-long survey,” said Nick Kossman, the county development specialist for agricultural businesses. “And it was my goal originally was to make sure this was less than 20 questions and we’re down to less than 15 at this point.” In 2016 a similar survey found that farmers averaged 26 years in business, owned 168 acres, or rented 125 acres, and most farms specialized in dairy production. A quarter of land use in Schoharie County is for agriculture. Between 2007 and 2017, Schoharie County was the only local county to gain in both farmland acreage (1,450 acres) and producers (16). “If you’re looking with sort of a traditional view of where there are the 200-cow dairies and the hundred-acre farms, our average farm size has decreased pretty steadily over the years,” Kossman said. “But we are having a lot more people, I believe, and this is kind of what I’m hoping this survey will prove, a lot of people who are doing more farming on a smaller scale.” Read the full story in the Daily Gazette.

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