News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #04-008
SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has released preliminary state and national data from the 2002 Census of Agriculture.

Preliminary results for California show:

· The number of farms in 2002 was 79,709 compared to 87,991 in 1997.
· Land in farms totaled 27.6 million acres in 2002 compared to 28.8 million   acres in 1997.
· The average age of California producers in 2002 was 56.8 compared to the national average of 55.3-years-old.
· In 2002, 29.6 percent of agricultural producers were women.
· The average size of farms increased from 327 acres in 1997 to 347 acres in 2002.
· Forty-six percent of farms had less than $10,000 in sales of agricultural products in 2002.

Demographic data contained in the report include gender of operators; residence on or off the farm; days worked off the farm; years present on the farm; age group categories; race and number of persons living in each household.

Final 2002 Census of Agriculture data at the national, state and county levels will be released on June 3, 2004.  That report will provide first time facts about organic crop acreage and sales, production contracts, farm computer and Internet use, in addition to the broader, full range of traditional census data including land use and ownership; irrigated acreage; crop acreage and quantities harvested; livestock and poultry inventories; value of products sold; value of production contracts; participation in federal farm programs; and market value of land and buildings.

All reports from the 2002 Census of Agriculture will be available through the California Agricultural Statistics Service (CASS) web site at  For additional information regarding the census, call (916) 498-5161.

Editor’s Note: To subscribe to NASS e-announcements about the census and other NASS products and programs, go to, click on News and Coming Events and click on Subscribe to News Releases and Announcements.


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814