We know the realities of the recent recession and many businesses that suffered badly. Agriculture wasn’t one of them. In fact, in most states in the country, including South Carolina, agriculture led that state out of the recession.
“Part of that is because agriculture is a global industry. It runs off of supply and demand. For many of our American grown products, the demand for them around the world is growing as a result of growing economies. While the competition around the world is steep for production of products that we buy, that affords better diets and discretionary dollars to pay for food in other parts of the world.
The economy of the local food demand, especially in SC that we try to promote, is beginning to take hold and we are seeing some of the numbers support having progress and some nice growth.
The last full recession year that we had was 2006. There is a great difference in agricultural numbers between then and now. In 2006 our farm gate receipts, our core of agribusiness, were $1.9 billion. In 2011, it moves to $2.6 billion. Over 40% increase over five years, that’s 8% growth each year, something that is unmatched in the economy.
We have laid out a goal. When we looked at the ag industry five years ago in terms of economic impact, it was about $34 billion created in SC’s economy. We looked to see if the conditions were right to grow it by 50% more over the next ten years to be $50 billion by 2020. We know that any economic growth in SC benefits the whole state. It helps to give us the resources we need to reinvest in SC and make it a great place to live.”