skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

New data illustrates decline of thriving farm communities

play audio
Play

Thursday, February 15, 2024   

The nation has seen its total number of farmers and farmland decrease over the past five years and advocates for smaller producers in South Dakota said new data indicates more challenges for farming communities.

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its Census of Agriculture. Since the 2017 report, the nation's number of farms shrank by nearly 150,000 and total farmland dropped by 20 million acres. However, the average farm size increased, pointing to concerns about industrial farms gaining more ground.

Karla Hofhenke, executive director of the South Dakota Farmers Union, said it shows farmers, especially independent operations, need effective policies to keep working their land.

"Farmers will produce more and more with less acres, and so it's important that we keep the support of the Farm Bill programs going for them," Hofhenke contended

Congress faces a deadline later this year to adopt a new Farm Bill, and Hofhenke suggested enhancing programs offering conservation incentives is one way to prop up family farms.

South Dakota saw its total number of farms decrease by nearly 1,700 and total acreage was down by nearly 940,000.

Hofhenke emphasized if more small towns see family farms replaced by larger operations with no connection to the community, the towns will lose their identity.

"You start losing your schools in those local towns and when you lose your schools, you're losing your town because the young families are moving away," Hofhenke observed.

Larger farming companies said being able to grow in size allows them to meet global demand for food. Meanwhile, the average farmer age went up in the new report. However, there was an 11% increase in the number of beginning farmers, with experts noting it could help ease the burden of not having enough people to replace producers nearing retirement.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Creedon Newell practices teaching construction skills in Wyoming's new career and technical educator bridge course, designed to encourage trades students and professionals to pursue a career in CTE teaching. (Photo by Rob Hill)

Social Issues

play sound

By Lane Wendell Fischer for the Shasta Scout via The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service for the Public News …


Social Issues

play sound

Concerns about potential voter intimidation have spurred several states to consider banning firearms at polling sites but so far, New Hampshire is …

Social Issues

play sound

Today, groups working with lower-income families in Connecticut are raising awareness about the state's "benefits cliff" with a day of action…


Environment

play sound

The construction of more solar farms in the U.S. has been contentious but a new survey shows their size makes a difference in whether solar projects …

Political fights were once considered "taboo" for school boards but things like book bans and debates over diversity programs have brought more tension to the day-to-day functions of the panels. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesota's largest school district is at the center of a budget controversy tied to the recent wave of school board candidates fighting diversity pro…

play sound

Minnesota lawmakers are considering a measure which would force employers to properly classify certain trade union workers and others as employees rat…

Health and Wellness

play sound

By Mary Anne Franks for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Alex Gonzalez for Northern Rockies News Service reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021