North Carolina agriculture and agribusiness industry reaches new milestone — $111.1 billion.

by | Jun 4, 2024

For the second straight year, North Carolina’s agriculture and agribusiness industry has recorded strong growth, jumping to $111.1 billion in economic impact. Agriculture continues to power our state’s economy.

 

Today’s Topic with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis 

 

  • We got some pretty exciting news recently about the growth of North Carolina’s agriculture industry, which we have not had the chance to talk about.
  • You know I am not going to miss an opportunity to celebrate our farmers, our agribusiness owners and everyone employed in agriculture.
  • For the second straight year, the industry posted strong growth, pushing the economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness to $111.1 billion, and retaining its place as the top industry in the state.
  • That’s $8 billion more than our 2023 numbers for a total of $18 billion in economic growth in the past two years.
  • And it is nearly double its impact since I took office in 2005.
  • Dr. Mike Walden, economist at N.C. State University, calculated the economic numbers using 2022 data from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
  • In updating the number, Dr. Walden noted that the industry continues to employ 16% of the state’s workforce.
  • That’s over 777,600 people employed in agriculture or agribusiness out of the state’s 4.8 million workforce.
  • That’s a lot of jobs.
  • And when you factor in where we rank in the production of many commodities, it’s not difficult to see how we get to that number.
  • Our state ranks No. 1 in the production of sweet potatoes, tobacco, and poultry and eggs.
  • We are second in Christmas trees, turkeys and trout.
  • We are third in hogs and cucumbers. Fourth in peanuts and broilers and fifth in cotton.
  • In fact, we rank nationally in the top 10 in 21 different commodities.
  • It’s exciting to see numbers like these because it shows the strength and resiliency of agriculture and agribusiness in the state, especially considering that we were coming out of a pandemic and some challenging economic times. This growth is also a result of:
    • our continued investment in agricultural research,
    • our continued efforts to expand and attract new food manufacturing and to create more value-added opportunities,
    •  and the continued support of our legislators.
  • These are important investments along with investing in the preservation of farmland and it is good seeing the return those investments are having in our state.