Graphics: 46 farmers in Denver and other facts about Colorado food

In conjunction with its ongoing series about the future of food, Slate has created a pair of graphics that offer fascinating specifics about farmers in contemporary American life -- and here in Colorado.

Among the details: There are only 46 farmers in all of Denver County -- a statistical average of zero per 1,000 residents. Get details, and see the graphics, below.

Here's the first graphic, which shows the number of farmers in each county according to the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as the population and the number of people in the profession per 1,000 residents. Try it for yourself:

For those of you more text-oriented, here are the figures for twelve Front Range counties. Even in some of the largest, the totals can be surprisingly modest, with actual numbers frequently lower than those in rural counties with comparatively tiny populations.

County: Denver Number of farmers: 46 Population: 600,158 Farmer per 1,000: 0

County: Adams Number of farmers: 1,449 Population: 441,603 Farmer per 1,000: 3

County: Arapahoe Number of farmers: 1,056 Population: 572,003 Farmer per 1,000: 2

County: Elbert Number of farmers: 2,342 Population: 23,086 Farmer per 1,000: 101

County: El Paso Number of farmers: 2,582 Population: 622,263 Farmer per 1,000: 4

County: Lincoln Number of farmers: 900 Population: 5,467 Farmer per 1,000: 165

County: Washington Number of farmers: 1,607 Population: 4,814 Farmer per 1,000: 334

County: Yuma Number of farmers: 1,608 Population: 10,043 Farmer per 1,000: 163

County: Jefferson Number of farmers: 914 Population: 534,543 Farmer per 1,000: 2

County: Douglas Number of farmers: 1,760 Population: 285,465 Farmer per 1,000: 6

County: Weld Number of farmers: 6,499 Population: 252,825 Farmer per 1,000: 26

County: Boulder Number of farmers: 1,208 Population: 294,567 Farmer per 1,000: 4

By the way, Denver's 46 farmers is hardly the lowest number of any major city. According to Slate, San Francisco has the fewest, with six.

The second graphic depicts the crop value per person in each state. Colorado's is $421 -- higher than plenty of other states, but much lower than neighbors like Kansas ($2,383) and Nebraska ($5,037), not to mention North Dakota, which tops the roster at $8,153. Give it a try.

These graphics suggest that fewer and fewer farmers are feeding more and more of us with each passing year. To read more about the future of food from Slate, click here.

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More from our Business archive: "John-Paul Maxfield and Waste Farmers are growing a business based on ending waste."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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