Some 40 percent of land in Bedford County is farmland, according to the most recent census by the U.S. Census of Agriculture.
But that is a shrinking figure.
From 1997 to 2002 the county lost 8,000 acres, almost 4 percent, of its farmland. Over that same time the county lost 165 farms, 11 percent of its total, which is well above the state average. Across the state, during that five-year period, Virginia lost 1.5 percent of its farmland and 3.6 percent of its farms.
A new census is due to be taken and those figures are expected to continue the trend.