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Cheese and So Much More: Ag Census Data Show Multi-Faceted Wisconsin Farm Economy

Wisconsin (PDF, 941 KB) is known as America’s Dairyland; however, the 2017 Census of Agriculture data show us that Wisconsin has a diverse agricultural industry. It’s no surprise Wisconsin ranks number one in cheese production, but did you know it also ranks number one in corn for silage, cranberry, and snap bean production?

Why I Love New Mexico’s Forests and Public Lands

I heard a story once about “horny toads” from my mother. How she used to catch so many they filled a shoebox. And my grandfather told me about the Lobo’s howl.

Both of these animals are rare or endangered now and I have not found one myself. I hope one day to tell my own children about the animals I experience in the forests of New Mexico. Tadpoles, horned owls, fence-tail lizards, trout, coyotes and bats. We hike through the forest into the Rio Grande gorge and I know it is magic. The beauty of it all is more than enchanting, it takes my breath away, or brings me back to it in a way. I feel like Brian from my book, Hatchet, when I spend time in the wilderness and I return to a place of quietness and respect for nature.

New Youngsville, Louisiana High School, Funded by USDA, Helps Drive Community Growth, Prosperity

It was almost 50 years since a new high school was constructed in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Now, thanks to support from USDA Rural Development, the 8,000 residents of Youngsville, a growing community in the parish, have a state-of-the-art school: one that all area high school students attend with pride.

Nevada – We Grow Things Here!

While UFO spotting on the Alien Highway and non-stop entertainment in Las Vegas beckon people all over the world to Nevada, many might miss out on the thriving agricultural community that lives and works throughout every county in the state. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, over 3,400 farm operations cover more than 6.1 million acres or 8.7 percent of the Silver State. The average farm size in Nevada--1,790 acres--is the third largest average for all U.S. states. When compared to Nevada’s median state farm size of 42 acres (half the farms above this acreage, half below), the data indicate there are some BIG operations here.

Talking Turkey

Did you know that between 2014 and 2018 approximately two thirds of U.S. turkey meat was produced in just six states: Minnesota, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Iowa? Minnesota, the largest producer, produces more than 15 percent of U.S. turkey meat annually.

A Rare Glimpse at Traditional Crops Grown in New Mexico

Farming has been a part of New Mexico for over 2,500 years, ever since Native Americans first grew corn, squash, and beans throughout the region. The 2017 Census of Agriculture provides a rare look into our state’s agriculture crop acreages and livestock numbers. For instance, the 2017 Ag Census shows Native Americans account for 24 percent of New Mexico's farms and ranches. Maize, a crop traditionally grown here, can be found on 596 farms with 1,923 acres of the native corn.

NIFA Highlights Research, Education, and Extension Successes of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) celebrates our tenth year (see this USDA blog for more on NIFA’s history), we reflect on our successes of agricultural research, education, and Extension (also referred to as the Cooperative Extension System) and our endless endeavor to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. With the 2018 Farm Bill signed into law late December 2018, NIFA diligently worked to implement new Farm Bill provisions, as well as carry out existing programs that were reauthorized and subsequently funded by appropriations.