Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
N.C. State University economist Mike Walden has released his yearly analysis of the impact that agriculture and agribusiness have on North Carolina’s economy. His analysis showed that agriculture and agribusiness are still the state’s largest industry, with an economic impact that now stands at $84 billion. That’s an $8 billion jump from the previous year.
Walden’s survey used data from 2014 and looked at three sectors: agriculture and food industries, fiber, and forestry. The analysis showed that there was growth in value-added income in each of those sectors. The biggest increase occurred in the agriculture and food industries sector, which jumped from about $64 billion to over $70 billion.
Commissioner Troxler has a goal of seeing this industry reach $100 billion in economic impact by the year 2020, and Dr. Walden’s report shows the state is on its way to achieving that goal.
One of the other pieces of encouraging news from the report is the continued growth in jobs connected to agriculture and agribusiness. The industry now employs more than 686,000 people, an increase of 3 percent over the previous year. It’s also the second straight year of job growth in the industry. The job figures mean that 17 percent of the 4 million employees in North Carolina work in an agriculture-related field.
Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about the economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness, and find out how the department is continuing to work toward reaching the $100 billion goal. To download a copy of Walden’s fact sheet, click here.
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