Ag coalition posts study on role of ag in U.S. economy
More than one-fifth of the nation’s economy and one-fourth of the nation’s job are linked, either directly or indirectly, to the food and agriculture sectors, according to a nationwide economic impact study released Thursday by 23 agriculture groups as the foundation of a new website called Feeding the Economy.
The report highlights these national findings:
▪ Total jobs: 45.58 million
▪ Total wages: $2.06 trillion
▪ Total taxes: $913.13 billion
▪ Exports: $154.4 billion
▪ Total food and industry economic impact: $7.06 trillion
Agricultural impact reports by state and congressional district are available in the interactive version of the report available on the group’s website. The study was conducted by John Dunham & Associates, a Brooklyn, N.Y. firm.
The study is based on what is known as the IMPLAN model of the United States economy.
“To measure the total economic impact of the sectors, the analysis also includes the indirect and induced economic activity surrounding these industries, which captures upstream and downstream activity,” the coalition said in a news release.
“For example, when a farm equipment retailer hires new employees because farmers are buying more tractors, experts consider the new salaries as an indirect impact. Similarly, when a retail associate spends her paycheck, an induced economic impact occurs. Together, these impacts have a multiplier effect on the already formidable direct impact of food and agriculture.”
“While more and more Americans are becoming interested in the food they eat, we must ensure they know the value of what farmers and ranchers do,” Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said in a news release.
“Everyone can benefit from knowing of the great contributions of agriculture to our economy, to our rural communities, to our security, to our culture and yes, to our natural resources. We need resources like the Feeding The Economy.com report to better tell this story.”
“A lot of people don’t understand the significant effects agriculture has on their lives. The more resources farmers and ranchers have at their disposal to help connect with folks in their community and talk more about the economic significance of farming and ranching, the more those much-needed conversations can take place,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
John Bode, president of the Corn Refiners Association, one of the sponsors of the study, told Brownfield Ag News that the data was compiled on behalf of 23 national ag and food groups to speak in one voice. “It’s a joint effort because we fell that the role of food and agriculture in our economy is not appropriately appreciated,” Bode said.
“It’s constantly evolving but most people don’t realize that one-fourth of all American jobs are agriculture related and that’s the story we want to tell,” Bode said.
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