This page contains links to select UDSA 2012 agriculture census profiles for select counties in Colorado. I’ve also added a brief analysis of selected livestock in the areas surrounding Colorado Springs. At times, I use the reference section of this website as a way to store interesting data and facts that I’ve come across. My paper filing system wasn’t working. The next agriculture census was taken in 2017, so these are currently the most current ag census profiles available. However, as of today – the results are not scheduled to be released until April 11, 2019.
I use this information for farm and ranch business planning research. From a rural real estate marketing aspect, the data helps me better understand who my farm and ranch clients are each of the areas. Some of the information validates things that I’ve witnessed. One such example is the average age of farmers and ranchers. Most seem well advanced in years. It turns out the average age in both El Paso County and Elbert County is 58 years old.
If you are interested in agriculture census profiles for other state or other counties in Colorado, they can be found on the UDSA Agriculture Census site.
This first link provides a variety of report options that can be viewed.
The following are some of the 2012 Agricuture Census reports that I utilized:
El Paso County El Paso County Agriculture Census Profile 2012
Elbert County Elbert County Agriculture Census Profile 2012
Pueblo County Pueblo County Ag Census Data 2012
Colorado, by County, Poultry Inventory & Sales 2012
Colorado, by county, Organic Agriculture 2012
When doing business plans for a new farm or ranch, looking up the agriculture census can be very helpful. At the same time, it is important to remember that this is statistical data. Its seems like I read that across the US, about 80 percent of farmers and ranchers respond. There is more information on the USDA website about how they get the numbers for these reports. Compared to some other survey’s, 80 percent is a pretty good response rate, in my opinion. Even if the numbers are only representative of an area, I think this information provides a very useful tool in understanding the agriculture “landscape” in a given area.
Reason so Many Small Farms are Unprofitable:
We frequently hear news story after news story about how most small farms and ranches do not make enough to support themselves. The owners have to have outside jobs. In the case of livestock, when these numbers are analyzed, it is very obvious why the small farms can’t support themselves. They simply do not have enough animals to sell to make farming or ranching their sole source of income.
For a more detailed look at the sheep and lamb market in the Colorado Springs area, please see: Lamb & Sheep Market page
Colorado is #3 top lamb producing state in the US per the 2012 Agricuture Census. Texas leads the nation and California comes in at the second highest. In 2012, 435,338 sheep were sold for a total of $80,250,000.
2012 El Paso County Highlights
Total # of farms: 36
Total Sheep sales: $57,000
2012 Elbert County Highlights:
Total # of Farms: 58
Total Sheep Sales: $60,000
2012 Pueblo County Highlights:
Total # of Farms: 37
Total Sheep Sales: $102,000