A Growing Number of Immigrant Farmers
According to the Washington State University Extension Fact Sheet: “Profile of Small Farms in Washington State Agriculture,” between 1997 and 2007, the proportion of U.S. farms reporting “Spanish, Hispanic or Latino” principal operators grew from 1.5% to 3%, and now comprise 4.2% of all Washington State farm operators. Crops, grains, vegetables, and fruit farm classifications account for the majority (65%) of farms, while animal production, ranching, dairy, hogs, sheep, aquaculture, and poultry classifications represent 35% of these farms.
- Average age for a Latino operator is 49.8, well below the state average age of 57.
- Most of these farms (77%) have 50 acres or less.
- 85% of their farms have sales under $250,000.
Washington State also has a growing number of Hmong farmers. Although they are not a separate category in the census, the WSU Small Farms Program has identified 101 Hmong-operated farms, mostly located in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties.
Excerpts and information from “Profile of Small Farms in Washington State Agriculture” WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION FACT SHEET • FS072E