Keeping Farmers on the Land: New Research Underscores Need To Address Farm Transition in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, farmers age 65 and older own or manage nearly thirty percent of the farms, and most are farming without a young farmer alongside them. New research from American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Land For Good sheds light on what this means for the future of Rhode Island agriculture. 

Using Census of Agriculture data from 2002, 2007 and 2012, including a special tabulation of 2012 data (see Rhode Island Data Tables), the Gaining Insights, Gaining Access project looked at characteristics of New York and New England’s farm population at both ends of the spectrum—those at or beyond retirement age, and those young or new to farming. We also held focus groups in seven states of older farmers with no identified successors to learn more about this large, influential farmer subset: what they’re farming and with whom; their vision of retirement; and what challenges they face for the future.

Author: 
American Farmland Trust
Publisher: 
Northampton, MA: American Farmland Trust
Publication Date: 
February 1, 2016
Literature Category: 
Reports and Studies