This report shows that the state's food and agricultural industry is still a significant component of the economy, although probably less so than in earlier years due mainly to agricultural commodity price declines. Agricultural output amounted to 8 percent of the state's total output in 1999, while employment in the industry represented 5 percent of total employment and 3 percent of the labor income generated in the state. Agricultural exports out of the state were 19 percent of the state's total exports. These agricultural exports generate additional indirect sales such as feedgrains sold to pork producers and farm machinery sales to crop farms. The indirect impact measures are derived using the IMPLAN input-output software package. The food and agricultural industry accounts for 213,000 jobs, or 6 percent of the state total, when these secondary impacts of exports are considered. When all food and agricultural industry final sales for export and in-state use are used as the direct measure rather than just exports, the total number of jobs directly or indirectly generated comes to 350,000, or 11 percent of the state total. The importance of agriculture is greater on a percentage basis for the western and southeastern portions of the state. Another measure of the food and agricultural industry's contribution to the state economy is the state's strong $8 billion "trade surplus" in food and agricultural products.


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