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New Report Provides Insight into Importance of Local Agriculture

Micheal Clements

News Service Editor, NAFB

Veronica Nigh

Senior Economist

photo credit: AFBF Photo, Mike Tomko

The Feeding the Economy Report, released on National Ag Day, was updated this week to include county-level data, showing the economic impact of local agriculture on communities across the U.S.. Micheal Clements shares more.

Clements: Commissioned by 25 food and agriculture groups, the Feeding the Economy Report highlights the impact of the food and agriculture sector. Veronica Nigh, American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Economist, says the report illustrates the critical role agriculture plays in our economic system.
Nigh: Overall, as we look across the United States, it shows that these industries are responsible for over $8.6 trillion of the country's economic activity, which is nearly 20 percent, and directly support nearly 23 million jobs, which is 15 percent of U.S. employment.
Clements: Released on National Ag Day, the report was updated this week to include county-level data.
Nigh: The most surprising thing the study reveals is that actually the ten largest counties impacted by agriculture and their associated businesses are some of the largest counties in the United States. For example, Los Angeles County, Cook County, Illinois, which are home to Los Angeles and Chicago, are the two largest counties in the United States impacted by agriculture. So, it really drives home the fact that all industries are linked to one another.
Clements: Nigh says the data in the report is another tool in the toolbox for advocates telling the story of agriculture, especially when talking to legislators.
Nigh: I think this is certainly an excellent tool for agriculture. When we think about legislation that's being considered in 2023, certainly when your legislator comes back into your district and wants to talk about things like the Farm Bill, it's important to let them know how important agriculture is in every part of the United States. So, it certainly highlights the farm to fork nature of agriculture and that our reach is well beyond our fence rows.
Clements: Learn more at FeedingTheEconomy.com. Micheal Clements, Washington.