The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducts a census of agriculture every five years. The most recent census was conducted in 2007 and results were released in February 2009. Over time, the census has included more and more questions related to marketing and alternative enterprises and now provides information related to various components of value-added agriculture.
The Center for Profitable Agriculture, the department within UT Extension that assists farmers in analyzing and developing value-added enterprises, generally defines value-added farm enterprises as those activities involving processing, packaging and marketing farm commodities and farm resources. Value-added agriculture allows the farmer to capture a larger portion of consumer expenditures. For example, Tennessee farmers add value by bottling milk from their dairy and selling it directly to consumers from an on-farm store, or manufacturing jams and jellies from peaches and selling them from an on-farm retail market. Tennessee farmers also add value by selling meat from their livestock directly to consumers at farmers markets. Value-added agriculture also includes directly marketing products such as fresh fruits and vegetables to consumers through a farmers market or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program1 and offering agritourism activities on the farm.
The 2007 census of agriculture provides information on farms directly marketing products to consumers, offering agritourism and recreational services, adding value to commodities and marketing through CSAs. The census for Tennessee and the United States from 2007 and previous years provides benchmark information to help evaluate the status of the value-added industry in the state.
This publication is the second in a UT Extension series to summarize data related to value-added agriculture from the 2007 census. The first publication, “Census of Agriculture Data Shows Growth of Value-Added Farm Enterprises in Tennessee,” (SP 718) summarizes information at the state and national level and can be found on-line at http://cpa.utk.edu/. This publication summarizes data for Tennessee counties.
"SP720-Value-Added Agriculture, Direct Marketing and Agritourism in Tennessee - A Summary of 2007 Census of," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, SP720 E12-4015- 10-0069 11/09, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexmkt/10