Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), one type of direct marketing, consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. This page presents information and research about CSA, historical data, access to local food directories, and more.

CSA Resources for Farmers

  • Community Supported Agriculture – New Models for Changing Markets. [usda.gov] [pdf, 60 pages]

    Timothy Woods, Matthew Ernst, and Debra Tropp. April 2017.

  • Community Supported Agriculture, Unit 3.0. [casfs.ucsc.edu] [pdf, 117 pages]

    In Teaching Direct Marketing and Small Farm Viability: Resources for Instructors.

  • CSA Starts Here: Video Series. [sare.org]

    A 12-Part educational video series for aspiring and beginning CSA farmers from the CSA Innovation Network.

  • SARE database of funded projects. [sare.org]

    Search Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Project Reports by keyword or Practices for Community Supported Agriculture or CSA.

Community Supported Agriculture Statistics and Surveys

U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • 2020
    Data collected in 2020 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that 7,244 farms in the United States sold products directly to consumers through a community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement. (1) CSA’s accounted for $225 million (about 7.75 percent) of the $2.9 billion in direct-to-consumer sales by farms. (2)
    1. See: 2020 Local Food Marketing Survey QuickStats (Row 6, Col 16) [nass.usda.gov]
    2. See: Direct Farm Sales of Food. Results of the 2020 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey. [nass.usda.gov] [pdf, 2 pages] April 2022.
  • 2015
    Data collected in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that 7,398 farms in the United States sold products directly to consumers through a community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement. CSA’s accounted for $226 million (about 7 percent) of the $3 billion in direct-to-consumer sales by farms.
    See: Direct Farm Sales of Food. Results of the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey. [nass.usda.gov] [pdf, 2 pages] December 2016.
    See also: 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey. [nass.usda.gov]
  • 2012/2007
    Data collected in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that 12,617 farms in the United States reported marketing products through a community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement, a 0.5 percent increase over the 12,549 farms marketing through CSAs in 2007.
    • 2012
      Table 43. Selected Practices: 2012. [cornell.edu] [pdf, 1 page]. In 2012 Census of Agriculture – State Data. p. 558. (2014) USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service.
      See the column titled, “Marketed products through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) (farms)” to find the number of farms that answered yes to the question, “At any time during 2012, did this operation market products through a community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement?”
      See also: 2012 Census of Agriculture Highlights: Farmers Marketing; [nass.usda.gov] [pdf, 2 pages]
      See also: USDA Census of Agriculture Historical Archive (2012). [cornell.edu]
    • 2007
      Table 44. Selected Practices: 2007. [nass.usda.gov] [pdf, 1 page] In 2007 Census of Agriculture – State Data. p. 606. (2009) USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service.
      See the column titled, “Marketed products through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) (farms)” to find the number of farms that answered yes to the question, “At any time during 2007, did this operation market products through a community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement?”
      See also: USDA Census of Agriculture Historical Archive (2007).[cornell.edu]
  • 2012

Surveys and Reports

  1. Unraveling the CSA Number Conundrum. [wordpress.com] McFadden, Steven. The Call of the Land. Blog. January 9, 2012.
  2. 2009 Survey of Community Supported Agriculture Producers. [uky.edu] [pdf, 24 pages] (July 2009). Analysis of survey findings on the business and marketing practices of 205 CSA farms in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
  3. CSA Across the Nation: Findings from the 1999 CSA Survey. [cias.wisc.edu] [pdf, 20 pages] (2003). Provides the first comprehensive portrait of the CSA movement in the US. Findings from a 1999 national “census” survey show commonalities and diversity among CSA farms.
  4. Community Supported Agriculture Entering the 21st Century: Results from the 2001 National Survey. [cias.wisc.edu] [pdf, 23 pages] (undated). Presents the results of a 2001 survey of 300 Community Supported Agriculture farms in 43 U.S. states. Continues the 1999 survey as described in the report CSA Across the Nation: Findings from the 1999 CSA Survey, above.
  5. Community Supported Agriculture in the Mid-Atlantic Region: Results of a Shareholder Survey and Farmer Interviews. [scribd.com] (2004) L. Oberholtzer. Future Harvest-CASA. Research from the Small Farm Success Project.
  6. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in the Midwest United States: A Regional Characterization. [dr.iastate.edu] (2005) Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
  7. Community Supported Agriculture on the Central Coast: The CSA Member Experience. [escholarship.org] (2003) Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), University of California.
  8. Marketing Your Organic Products. In Final Results of the 4th National Organic Farmers Survey: Sustaining Organic Farms in a Changing Organic Marketplace. [agmrc.org] [pdf, 106 pages] p. 48-51. (2004) Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF). Survey conducted in 2002.

The History of CSA

  • Eating for Your Community: A Report from the Founder of Community Supported Agriculture. [context.org]

    Robyn Van En. (1995) In Context, Fall 1995, p, 29.

Access to Research Articles

USDA Local Food Directories

vegetables at farmers market

Agritourism, CSAs, farms, farmers markets, food hubs, and more.

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