Number of young farmers rising in New Mexico

Created: 02/22/2014 12:15 PM
By: The Associated Press

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A new government survey shows New Mexico has more farms and ranches than it did five years ago.

The survey also shows the state has seen significant increases in the number of young farmers and minority farmers in recent years.

State Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte says he's glad to see a wider diversity of people getting into farming and ranching across the state. He says that diversity will help create more opportunity.

Witte also says the younger farmers will help ensure agriculture remains a viable part of the economy for years to come.

The 2012 agriculture census shows there are more than 24,700 farms and ranches in New Mexico, an 18 percent increase since 2007. That bucks a long-term national trend that has seen the number of U.S. farms drop.

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