3. Livestock and Poultry
Livestock production may take many forms and, depending on your facilities, you may be able to combine several enterprises on your farm.
Beef cattle is a major industry in Pennsylvania (PA) with over 25,000 farms raising over 1.6 M cattle and calves with a value of almost $700 M according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2012 Census of Agriculture. The largest category of farms have between 55 and 99 animals with sales of almost $77 M. These farms are considered to be small to mid-sized in PA.
The equine industry is the second largest industry in Pennsylvania. Horse and harness racing are major parts of the industry however, there are many pleasure and draft horses throughout Pennsylvania.
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2012 Census of Agriculture, Pennsylvania ranks second in production of poultry and eggs with sales of over $1.3 billion. Pennsylvania also produces game bird species sold to the Pennsylvania Game Commission or private hunting operations for stocking.
Sales of sheep and goats generate over $3M annually for Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has over 2,700 independent producers with over 320,000 sows and pigs with the majority of farms having less than 25 animals per farm.
Livestock associations can be an excellent source of information, while providing valuable networking opportunities for aspiring producers.