Agweek: Ag-rich counties are still losing population

EXCERPT: “Despite decades of federal and state investments in farm programs and rural economic development, most of rural America is still losing population while urban America is gaining. There are exceptions, of course. Montana attracted so many new people that the state gained a second congressional seat. And oil rich Williams County, North Dakota, was the fastest-growing county in terms of percentage growth over the last decade, increasing from 22,399 to 37,589 or 67.8% between 2010 and 2019. However, many of the top agricultural counties in the United States are consistently losing population, except in those with processing facilities, according to an Agri-Pulse analysis of 2020 census data. While agriculture-rich states like California, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin are seeing population increases in several of their most productive agricultural counties, the three main Southern Plains states — Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas — are seeing consistent declines in most of theirs. Many high-producing counties in Illinois, Nebraska and North Carolina are also subject to this downward trend.” FULL STORY: