Montgomery, AL – A federal census report suggests families or individuals handle most of the farming in Alabama. Most are older who work fewer than 200 acres and make little money. The census suggests some are pursuing farming mainly as a side business. The average age of an Alabama farmer was 56-point-six in 2002, compared to 54-point-seven in 1997. The number of Alabama farms also declined from 1997 to 2002. The census report shows that number dropped about nine percent during that period because more farmland was sold for commercial and residential uses. However, the number of big farms increased. Those contain two-thousand acres or more. The preliminary census data from 2002 comes from the U-S- Agriculture Department.