Today’s Topic: Economic impact of N.C. agriculture, agribusiness increases to $77 billion

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Southern Farm Network logoThe economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness in North Carolina was $77 billion in 2011, according to a study by N.C. State University economist Mike Walden. That’s a 7.5 percent increase over 2010.

The various sectors of agribusiness employ 642,000 people, which is nearly one-fifth of the state’s workforce.

For his annual report, Walden looks at food, fiber and forestry sectors. In looking at these sectors of agriculture and agribusiness, he computes value-added income from farming as well as ag-related manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing.

Commissioner Troxler has a goal of seeing agriculture become a $100 billion industry, and this latest report shows the state is on its way to reaching that goal. He says the increase might be a little surprising, considering that many N.C. farmers dealt with more than their fair share of rough weather in 2011. There were tornadoes, drought and Hurricane Irene, and some farmers were affected by all three disasters. But good commodity prices and other factors likely helped the industry overcome the effects of weather on crops.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness. If you’d like to read the highlights of Walden’s report, click here.

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