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Farmers Feed the Economy

Zippy Duvall


photo credit: AFBF Photo/Morgan Walker

Spring is a time of planning, planting and new growth on the farm. From preparing to plant seeds for the next crop to tending trees freshly in bloom, farmers are working hard to ensure strong yields in the months ahead. And those yields spring up well beyond the farm gate too. While we know that farmers and ranchers play a critical role growing the food, fiber and fuel we rely on, did you also know that we play an important role in growing our nation’s economy? A new report shows agriculture’s significant, and growing, impact.

According to the 2024 Feeding the Economy report, economic output related to agriculture grew by more than a trillion dollars since last year. A trillion dollars! That’s a remarkable reminder of the role our farms and ranches play across the supply chain. Agriculture contributes to 20% of U.S. economic activity. Just let that sink in for a minute. One fifth of our nation’s economic output would not be possible without the nearly 2 million farms across our country.

What’s more—agriculture supports more than 48 million jobs in the U.S. From manufacturing of farm equipment to stocking food on grocery shelves, there are millions of Americans heading to work today who can trace how their job in some way connects to or is impacted by agriculture. These jobs up and down the supply chain—food scientists, veterinarians, restaurant workers, truck drivers, and the list goes on—are on the rise too, up 20% since 2020.

Whether you farm five acres or five hundred, you are making our country stronger.

What’s exciting to me is that farms and ranches of all sizes and all commodities play a role here. You may not always be able to see the broader impact your farm has beyond your fencerows, but you are part of a larger story. Whether you farm five acres or five hundred, you are making our country stronger. You are part of the noble profession of farming, as you do your part to safely and sustainably grow the food, fiber and fuel we all rely on, products that fuel our economy.

At Farm Bureau, we’re doing our part to share your story and have your back. Millions of Americans are counting on you, and we know that you need the resources, programs and policies to keep your farms going strong in all seasons. That’s why we are making it a top priority to get a new, modernized farm bill passed, to find a solution to agricultural labor reform, and to protect tax benefits that help family farms stay in business. That’s why we push back on burdensome, non-science-based or economically unsound regulations that would squeeze farms out of business. And that’s why we have advocated for voluntary, incentive-based programs to advance sustainability.

But all of that is just a sample of the seeds we are planting to yield a strong harvest for American agriculture. We believe that what matters to you and your farm, matters to all Americans, to the security of our food supply, and to the health of our nation’s economy. As farmers go out to plant this spring, I hope you all will take great pride in the work you are doing for your families, your communities, and our country.