In 1935, there were approximately 6.8 million farms in the US. By 2000, that number had plummeted to 2.2 million. Today, we're down to 2.1 million. Meanwhile, the highest income bracket for farms now accounts for 66.4% of US agricultural products sold, up from 47.5% in 2002.
In this age of corporate agriculture, family farms that have survived have done so by capitalizing on the local food movement: selling to organic and specialty supermarkets, selling wholesale to restaurants, selling shares of a farm's harvest directly through community-supported agriculture (CSAs), and selling at farmer's markets.
We talked to one local farmer who has managed to adapt and thrive in this challenging environment: Kevin Smith of upstate New York's Sycamore Farms. Sycamore, like many in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, has turned nearly exclusively to one source for revenue: the New York City Greenmarkets.