The most recent profile of Mifflin County’s agriculture is now available from the Census of Agriculture.
Mifflin County is located in central Pennsylvania, 30 miles southwest of State College and 60 miles northwest of Harrisburg. The County encompasses 415 square miles of forested ridge and agricultural valley terrain along the Juniata River and its tributaries. As of the census of 2010, there were 46,682 people and 18,743 households within the county. The population density was 112.5 people per square mile (44/km²). Political units in the county include 10 townships and 6 boroughs.
Mifflin County is located in, and has its boundaries defined by, the Ridge-and Valley Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania. US Route 322, a major divided highway, connects the county to the rest of the state on its route between Harrisburg and State College
Top employment sectors in the county’s economy are manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; education and health services; and construction (Center for Workforce Information and Analysis, 11/18).
Agriculture plays an important role in Mifflin County’s landscape, history, and economy. There are were 808 farms in Mifflin County in 2012 comprising 90,554 acres (about 25 percent of the counties total) – with most agricultural land dedicated to cropland 59 percent. In 2012 the value of products sold in the County was $94.023 million in value of products sold – 82 percent comprised livestock sales. (Census of Ag, 2012).
- Mifflin County has second-highest Amish settlement in PA. Mostly in townships comprising the “Big Valley”, close to 3000 individuals. The Amish community in Mifflin County had a total population of 3,905 people (in 30 congregations) in 2017, or 8.5% of the county’s population
- Mifflin County is comprised of three major watersheds: the Juniata River, Jacks Creek, and the Kishacoquillas Creek
- Average rainfall is 37.5 inches; groundwater tends to be abundant.
- More than half of Mifflin County’s land area lies within high quality, cold water fisheries (HQ-CWF) watersheds (Mifflin County Comprehensive Plan, p. 228)
- Numerous agencies and organizations have played a critical role in planning and implementing strategies to support agriculture and protect the County’s environmental resources including the Conservation District, Planning and Development Office, Agricultural Land Preservation Board, Penn State Extension and a wide range of farm and civic organizations.
Who manages water?
- Six public water utilities and six small water systems serve about 64% of Mifflin County residents with domestic water. Figure 6-1- of Comprehensive Plan lists these facilities
- Eleven municipalities provide public sewerage service to some portion of the properties in their communities (Table 6-11 of Comp Plan). These 11 municipal systems direct their flows to one of eight wastewater treatment plants. At least 22 pump stations assist in moving flows toward these plants.