Why agriculture is important

Jul 6, 2017, 08:51 AM

This Fourth of July week, as we gather for picnics and barbecues, set off fireworks, and deck out in red, white, and blue, we celebrate all that this country has to offer. In the spirit of patriotism, Mississippi/Arkansas Ag wants to take the time to appreciate one of the most important industries in our great nation -- agriculture. From supplying food and raw materials, to providing millions of jobs across the nation, the agriculture industry truly is the backbone of our economic system. Below are some of the main reasons why agriculture is important:

Food and Raw Materials

It’s common to associate agriculture only with crop farming. However, the agriculture industry extends beyond that to include all farm-related industries, like food manufacturing and food service. This makes agriculture one of the largest sectors in the nation. Agriculture and food-related industries contributed $992 billion to the US gross domestic product in 2015, adding up to a 5.5 percent  share. Even more so, this number does not take into account the industries that rely on agriculture for raw materials, such as forestry, textiles, and apparel. The agriculture industry is at the root of numerous things we take advantage of every day.

Employment Opportunities

Not only does agriculture provide the nation with food and raw materials, the industry provides millions of jobs nationwide. In 2015, on-farm farming alone provided 2.6 million jobs. Combined with the rest of the agriculture and food sector, these industries accounted for over 11 percent of total employment in the U.S., translating to 21 million full- and part-time jobs.

National Contribution

From contributing to the nation’s GDP to providing millions of employment opportunities, the agriculture industry is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy. With a successful agricultural sector comes greater food security, increased national income, and an improved standard of living.

There is no denying the crucial role the agriculture industry plays in our economic system. So thank you, farmers, for everything you do for this country. We couldn’t be here without you!

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