North Carolina

North Carolina agriculture industry breaks economic impact record

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – The economic value of North Carolina agriculture has reached a record high.

In 2005, the agriculture industry was targeting $59 billion. This year’s record amount is more than $103 billion. Shawn Harding, president of the NC Farm Bureau, said the achievement means a lot at the state level.

“We say $100 billion in agriculture, farmers are certainly the first things we think of, but it’s all the other jobs,” Harding said. “It’s the tractor dealers, it’s the people who supply the fertilizer, it’s the people downtown who help supply the tires and the batteries.”

Mitch Smith is a state agricultural extension officer for Pitt County. He said the economic impact toll was also helping jobs.

“Agriculture is so important in terms of employment in North Carolina. Agriculture and agribusiness accounts for 1 in 5 jobs,” Smith said. “So with this expansion of agriculture, it represents an expansion of the labor market for those interested in agriculture and more job opportunities for new graduates.”

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in a statement that this year’s target exceeded last year’s economic impact by more than 11%. Officials say it’s a testament to North Carolina farmers and their resilience.

“We had challenges, you know, with the storms, we had challenges with the evolution of the tobacco economy that has marked our history. Our farmers continue to understand,” Harding said.

This year’s fund increase helps them continue research and production.

“In North Carolina, we are projected number two in terms of farmland loss just behind Texas, so looking at population patterns, it has been predicted that we will need to produce 70% more food to meet the demands of ‘a growing population,’ Smith said.

“We need this, and we need to be able to fund agricultural research so people can reap the benefits of farming.”

Harding and Smith said it was important to raise awareness of the industry’s impact.

“Because only 2% of our population cultivates more. 98% have no connection with agriculture or where their food comes from. I just wish they were proud of North Carolina because we continue to have a strong agricultural presence here. Definitely support their local farmers in any way,” Harding said.

“We have the safest source of food in the world here and we are grateful for that, so I think I will continue to support an agricultural policy that includes agricultural research, which allows us to meet the type of challenges that we will face in the future. future,” Smith said. .

While this amount is a huge goal achieved, the industry looks forward to continued growth in the state.


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