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A $49 million industry today, family farm survives century of radical change

Posted on Monday, January 1, 2018 at 10:48 am

Editor’s note: The article first appeared in The Elk Valley Times’ Millennium Edition on Jan. 1, 2000. To read the rest of the story from our archives, just click here

Less than half the number of family farms which existed at the beginning of the century remain today.

And, according to Extension Leader David Qualls, the decline in the number of farms in Lincoln County is only one of several radical changes in the area of agriculture over the past 100 years.

In 1900, there were 3,669 farm operations in the county, said Qualls, who compared data from the 1900 and 1910 census reports to today’s agriculture picture.

“The county had 26,304 citizens in 1900, similar to today,” Qualls noted. “Practically every family had a farming operation.”

Today, however, there are just 1,661 farms in operation at the end of the century – “Only 37 percent of these count farming as their main operation,” Qualls said of today’s farms.

Just as the number of farm operations has decreased, so have the number of acres being farmed these days.