New York losing big farms, gaining small ones

YNN ran a story this week about new statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that show that New York state is losing large farming operations and gaining small ones. The story quotes a Sullivan County farmer saying that farmers might need to downsize to survive:

The agency says there are 300 fewer farms operating in New York State. Specifically, large full-time farms with $250,000 or more in sales.

"It's becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the markets," said dairy farmer Cindy Gieger.

Gieger helped create the Sullivan County Farm Network in response to the growing problems local farms face. Gieger says the solution may lie in pooling resources to be more competitive.

"A dairy farm could downsize from a 75 cow dairy to 10 or 15 cows and maybe set up a microcreamery on their farm and they can market a niche cheese for New York City," Gieger said.