The Feeding the Economy report, sponsored by 24 food and agriculture organizations, has revealed that the entire agricultural sector contributes more than $8.6 trillion to the U.S. economy, representing nearly one-fifth of total production. The report highlights the resilience and reliability of the agricultural sector in the face of climate change and national and global crises. The report notes that all 50 states have made impressive economic contributions, with the temperate western states of California, Arizona, and New Mexico showing remarkable numbers.
California, a producer of hundreds of different crop categories, was particularly impressive, requiring well over $412.7 billion in direct production value. By the time all the ancillary factors are added, the direct and indirect economic activity that captures both upstream and downstream industry events adds up to a whopping $1.07 trillion total. Total economic output is lower but still reaches billions of dollars ($138.6 billion) in the region where California joins with neighboring Arizona to become the winter leafy green capital of the country.
Arizona’s grape acreage has doubled to over 1,500 acres over the past decade, and the number of bonded wine producers has grown to 125. The Arizona wine industry generates widespread economic influence across the state, creating businesses for companies seemingly unrelated to the wine industry.
New Mexico has $49.2 billion in total economic impact from the food and agriculture industries, with the grape and wine industries contributing to those numbers. The report notes that agriculture stretches far beyond the gate of the farm and is the foundation of the American economy, and the foundation of agriculture is the economy and people’s lives.