Agriculture is the backbone of America, and a new study commissioned by 30 leading agriculture and food advocacy groups has the data to back it up.
The coalition – Feeding the Economy – released its 2022 Food and Agriculture Industries Economic Impact Study on March 22, National Agriculture Day.
The basis of the study was to quantify the contributions of the US agriculture and food sectors to the US economy in 2021.
The corresponding report identified the number of jobs, wages paid, value added and total output of the agriculture and food sectors of the United States. It also measured the economic impact of vendors supporting both sectors, as well as businesses aided by direct spending from industries.
The results revealed that 7% of the US economy and 29% of US jobs are linked to the two sectors, either directly or indirectly. The total impact of agriculture and food is $7.43 trillion.
Additionally, the two combined to provide 43.46 million jobs, $2.3 trillion in worker wages, and $718.15 billion in taxes.
The Feeding the Economy coalition noted that the report “underscores the resilience and strength of the food and agriculture sectors in the United States.” And, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, industries have continued to create jobs and provide safe food to consumers amid global supply chain shortages.
“American agriculture is really the foundation of our lives and our economy,” said Dr. Roger Cryan, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, one of the study’s sponsoring organizations. “This study reveals the numbers – and perhaps part of the spirit – of this indispensable sector.”
The data was also calculated at the state level, and the study found that Virginia’s agriculture and food sectors provided more than 518,161 direct jobs and produced $62.8 billion in economic output.
Agricultural goods produced in Virginia also contributed $3.85 billion in agricultural exports and $16.4 billion in tax revenue in 2021, according to the report.
“Agriculture has long been Virginia’s largest industry, and our farmers’ dedication to providing the nation’s food, fiber and fuel continues to be a key driver of the state’s economy,” said Tony Banks, Senior Deputy Director of Agriculture, Development and Innovation for Virginia. Federation of agricultural offices.
“The Feeding the Economy report and similar studies help support this fact and reinforce the importance of agriculture at local and national levels,” he added. “They also educate the public about agriculture, which ultimately helps the cause of farmers around the world.”