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Local food production and sales in South Dakota, 6 other states bring in $577 million in revenue

Over 17,000 farms in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota produced and sold food locally through direct marketing practices, resulting in $577 million in revenue in 2020, according to the Local Food Marketing Practices Survey results released (April 28, 2022) by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The results cover both fresh and value-added foods, such as meat and cheese.

The more than 3,800 farms that sold food directly to institutions and intermediates brought in the most revenue at $317 million; this was followed by operations with direct-to-consumer sales, such as on-farm stores and farmers markets, at $166 million. Sales directly to retailers accounted for $93.6 million.

Approximately 35,900 people were involved in making decisions for the farms that sold directly in 2020. Of these, 55% were men and 45% were women- a higher proportion of women than among all farms, according to data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

Nationally, over 147,000 U.S. farms produced and sold food locally through direct marketing practices, resulting in $9.0 billion in revenue in 2020, according to USDA  NASS. The data covers both fresh and value-added foods, such as meat and cheese.

The more than 40,000 farms that sold food directly to institutions and intermediates brought in the most revenue at $4.1 billion; this was followed by operations with direct-to-consumer sales, such as on-farm stores and farmers markets, at $2.9 billion. Sales directly to retailers accounted for $1.9 billion from more than 24,000 operations nationwide.

The top five states by value of total direct food sales were:

Most farms that sold directly to consumers sold through outlets such as on-farm stores. Texas led the nation in the number of farms selling directly to consumers, with almost 8,000 operations engaged in direct-to-consumer sales. California led in sales directly to consumers, earning $284 million.

Data also showed that 78% of farms sold their direct-to-market produce exclusively within 100 miles of the farm, while an additional 19% sold partially within and beyond 100 miles.

Approximately 314,000 people were involved in making decisions for the farms that sold directly to consumers in 2020. Of these, 57% were men and 43% were women – a higher proportion of women than among all farms, according to data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

For additional survey results, visit https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Local_Food/index.php or NASS’s Quick Stats database at quickstats.nass.usda.gov. View the highlights at https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Highlights/2022/local-foods.pdf.