More local farms starting up in Chippewa County

New census data shows that the number of farms in several Wisconsin counties are decreasing. But that's not the case in at least one local community.

The Federal Government does a census of agriculture every 5 years and the results of the 2012 data collection continues to show the
trend of fewer and fewer farms.

But that's not the case in Chippewa County. Most Wisconsin counties have seen a decrease in farms over the last few years due to better technology and larger corporations buying and merging various farm operations.

But Jerry Clark with the University of Wisconsin Extension Office says the reason for the exception in Chippewa County is more people are trying their hand at the farming game. They're starting small and only producing small amounts of local produce. He says this trend appears to be catching on and we may continue to see more and more people farming in their own back yards.

"Well I think people end up with a little extra acreage, maybe they buy a home we've got more people moving into rural areas where you end up with more acreage than you want to mow or something like that. So all of these smaller market type of things as well as fresh produce, so you're seeing a more direct market with some of the direct produce farms. These types of things tend to increase that number a little bit as well."

Clark says some of the crops people are starting to grow on these smaller farms are a little less traditional, everything from berries to small orchards, an increase in apiaries to produce honey and also more maple syrup farms.


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