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Wyoming Agriculture: Growing for the Future

Posted by Rhonda Brandt, Wyoming State Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service in Research and Science
Jul 12, 2019
Sheep grazing near a ranch in Converse County, Wyoming
Sheep grazing near a ranch in Converse County, Wyoming. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, there were 859 farms and ranches raising sheep in Wyoming and the state ranked No.1 in wool production with 2,796,792 pounds shorn.

Once again, the 2017 Census of Agriculture shows Wyoming producers operated the largest farms and ranches in the U.S. with an average of 2,430 acres per farm, over five times the national average size. The results also show Wyoming agriculture is growing for the future with both the number of farms at 11,938, and the number of young producers, age 35 or less, at 2,185, increasing from 2012. The Wyoming farms or ranches with a young producer involved not only were larger by over 623 acres, but they also earned more by $19,598, showing promise for the future of Wyoming agriculture.

A few other interesting Wyoming agricultural facts:

  • Net farm income increased by 13 percent to $22,314 per farm.
  • Wyoming ranked first amongst all states in wool production.
  • Laramie County ranked eighth amongst all U.S. counties for market value of sheep, goat, wool, mohair, and milk products sold.
  • Cattle and calves account for 65 percent of all agricultural products sold.
  • Ninety-four percent of farms are held by a family and 80 percent have internet access.
  • Agribusiness and recreational income more than doubled from 2012 and ranked sixth nationwide.

I would like to thank all Wyoming farmers and ranchers who reported their individual information. The Census of Agriculture tells their story and shows how they resiliently used their natural resources over the last five years.

Wyoming farmers with cattle
Wyoming farms and ranches earned $29.1 million from agritourism and recreational activities in 2017, more than double the 2012 total. This ranks sixth in the U.S. and is quite remarkable considering Wyoming’s population is a fraction of the top five agritourism states of Texas, California, Colorado, Virginia, and New York.
Category/Topic: Research and Science