Web site paints farms by numbers

Anyone who wants to learn about farm policy in the United States has a new source, according to Bobby Coats, professor and economist with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

The FarmPolicyFacts.org Web site offers information from a coalition of farmers and commodity groups created to educate Congress and Americans about agriculture's contribution to the economy, Coats said.

For those who love statistics, the site includes a “Fact of the Day.” Items that have appeared on the site include:

  • Ninety-eight percent of U.S. farms are run by families and less than 2 percent are corporate farms.
  • Family farms produce 86 percent of America's food and fiber.
  • U.S. consumers spend just 10 percent of their income on food, which is the lowest percentage in the world.
  • Today's farmer provides food and fiber for 144 people — up from just 19 people in 1940.
  • For every dollar Americans spend on food, farmers receive 20 cents.
  • There are 6.5 billion people on the planet, and the world's population will reach 8 billion by 2025.
  • There were 13.4 percent more women farmers in 2002 than in 1997, according to the 2002 Ag Census.
  • Agricultural land provides habitat for 75 percent of the nation's wildlife.

For more information and to hear Coats' weekly Pod-casts, visit www.uaex.edu.

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