About This Project

Investigating and reporting on farming trends in Arizona.

Alicia Longo, Danny Smitherman, and Jake Trybulski are three journalism students at Arizona State University.

Fresh tomatoes from Abby Lee Farms

For their final project in MCO 502, the Arizona Farm Trend team went off into the Phoenix valley to discover the changes in the state’s agricultural system.

The major trend? Urbanization. The growth in Arizona has caused many farms in the area to downsize. In fact, the 1982 average farm size in acres in the state was 5,148 according to the USDA. And today in Arizona? Just 1,312 acres.

The farms in Arizona may be shrinking, but the number of farms is growing. There are currently over 20,000 farms in Arizona. Almost 13,000 more farms in Arizona than in 1982.

And what really stands out? Small, local farms. You may drive down a busy Arizona street and miss multiple farms on the way. There are close to 12,000 farms in Arizona that only use between one and nine acres to farm on.

Chicken from The Farm at South Mountain

The team set out to talk to farmers about this trend and find out what they are doing to combat all the development in Arizona. Check out the website to find out more about our on research on urbanization, population growth, seasonality, union membership, successive farming and technology in Arizona agriculture.