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Small Farm Business

A listing of resources for small farm management and marketing.

Listen: How UMass Librarians can help YOU

Did You Know?

  • Massachusetts increased number of organic farms from 129 in 2002 to 295 in 2007, and organic sales from $7.8M in sales in 2002 to $17.5M in 2007.
  • More than 80% of Massachusetts farms are family-owned. Over 95% fit the category of "small farms", sales below $250,000.
  • Massachusetts is 2nd in New England for direct sales of farm products to consumers. At $42M in direct sales, Massachusetts farmers were responsible for 40 percent of New England's total.
  • Massachusetts ranks 9th nationally in total value of direct sales, following states such as California, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington.
  • Massachusetts ranks 2nd nationally in value of average direct market sales at $25,356 per farm.
  • Massachusetts ranks 1st in the U.S. for farmland value at $12,202 per acre.
  • Female farm operators account for 29% of the farm operators in MA, up from 21% in 2002.
  • Agritourism income totaled $5.3M, up from $665,000 in 2002.

Sources: New England Agricultural Statistics 2007 and U.S. Census of Agriculture 2007.

Small Farm Business Research Guide

Aspire to own a small commercial farm? New to farming? Experienced but seeking support?

This guide focuses primarily on Massachusetts and the New England region
and offers information about:

  • Library-based resources (some databases accessible by UMass affiliates only)
  • Local resources
  • Business planning
  • Funding
  • Associations
  • Advocacy
  • Statistics

Your feedback is most welcome to improve this community resource -- click "Comment" in any box.

For more information, contact Madeleine Charney at 413-577-0784 or mcharney@library.umass.edu

Selected titles at UMass Amherst Libraries

MA residents may borrow books from the UMass Libraries! Click here for an application.

"Infarmation Specialist"

Contact Madeleine Charney, Agriculture Librarian
413-577-0784

Quick Poll

How are you mostly involved in the small farm world these days?

Quick Poll
Farmer (or aspiring farmer): 6 votes (75%)
Professor, Higher Education: 0 votes (0%)
Administrator, Higher Education: 0 votes (0%)
Public school teacher: 0 votes (0%)
Landscape Architect: 0 votes (0%)
Regional Planner: 0 votes (0%)
Student of agriculture: 0 votes (0%)
Information specialist: 1 votes (12.5%)
Media: 0 votes (0%)
Other: 1 votes (12.5%)
Total Votes: 8
© 2016 University of Massachusetts Amherst.