Agriculture is important to New York State. The value of agricultural production was over $5.70 billion in 2012. About 23 percent of the state’s land area, or 7 million acres are used by the 36,000 farms to produce a very diverse array of food products.
Livestock and dairy production is the largest sector of NYS agriculture and provided $3.0 billion value of production to farmers in 2012.
New York State has a robust cattle industry with beef and dairy farms scattered throughout the great majority of counties. The state is houses over 1 million head of cattle. The largest beef producing county in NY is Steuben County with over 8,000 head reported in the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
New York State has a diverse landscape and different regions lend themselves to high dairy or beef production based on population, land type, and cost of production.
New York’s beef community is made up of hard working and dedicated men and women. Similar to the national average of 97%, 99% of farms in NY are family owned and operated. In fact, 56% of farms have been owned by the same family for 3 generations!