Chippewa County is leading the way with a gain of more than 180 farms in five years.
The area about two hours east of Minneapolis lost some mid-sized farms as they continue to merge with larger operations. But new federal data show it also gained more than 200 small farms of 50 acres or less from 2007 to 2012.
University of Wisconsin-Extension agent Jerry Clark says there is a boom in growers who have full-time jobs but earn extra income selling produce at local farmers markets.
He also says some small farms have popped up to produce specialty products, such as currants or wine grapes.