The most recent Census of Agriculture, performed in 2017, revealed that 1,200 farms operated in Thurston County, encompassing a total of 62,250 acres. The average size of a farm in 2017 was 52 acres.
Agriculture is an important component of Thurston County’s economy. The profitability of farming nearly doubled between 2012 and 2017. Although average farm expenses increased significantly, so did the market value of agricultural products sold. The total value of all agricultural products sold in Thurston County was more than $176 million and the average per farm was $130,006. Livestock and poultry constituted the majority of the value of agricultural sales (68% of the market value).
USDA Census of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts a Census of Agriculture every five years. This census is the most comprehensive source of statistics for the country’s agriculture, and the only source of uniform agricultural data for every county in the United States.
Agricultural activities include, but are not limited to, growing berries, aquaculture, tree farming, producing eggs, and farming vegetables. Data collected represent all agricultural operations, which are defined as any place that sells, or normally sells, more than $1,000 worth of agricultural products during the census year.
Sustainable Thurston Report Card
The Sustainable Thurston Report Card tracks how well the Thurston region is doing at conserving rural lands. The goal includes the following target:
- Between 2010 and 2035, no more than 5% of new housing will locate in rural areas, and at least 95% will be within cities, towns, unincorporated growth areas, and tribal reservations.
United States Department of Agriculture, Census of Agriculture