Mike Walden with NC State has recently completed his annual study of the economic impact of our agribusiness in NC.
“I’m quite pleased with the results. Its amazing that agriculture accounted for $77 billion dollars of economic impact in 2011. That is a 7.5% increase over the previous year. It shows that we are the top economic engine in NC and this represents a $5 billion increase in one year.
The agribusiness sector employs 642,000 people, nearly 1/5th of the state’s workforce.
The figure is based on the value added income from farming, manufacturing, whole selling and retailing of all of the agricultural products in NC. The surprising thing is that 2011 was a rough year weather wise in NC, especially for our farmers, there were tornadoes, drought and Hurricane Irene. Yet the economic numbers were good and it shows the diversity that we have in NC when it comes to agriculture.
The economy has been riding high due to commodity prices as well. They went up enough in 2011 to make up for some of the downfall in production that we had.
My goal is to see $100 billion dollar industry shortly in NC and I think the strength that we saw in this report shows that we are headed that way. When the numbers come out for 2012 we will blow the top off of economic impact in NC!”