COLUMBIA, S.C. – On National Ag Day, Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers is asking South Carolinians to thank farmers and food industry workers for their contributions to our economy.
30 food and agriculture groups including the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture released the sixth annual Feeding the Economy report, an economic analysis revealing how the food and ag sectors influence the local and broader United States economies.
Commissioner Weathers drew attention to the report’s finding that food and ag are responsible for nearly a third of all jobs in the US. “Farmers and others who work in the food industry are the engine of our economy,” Weathers said. “We thank them for their enormous contributions to this country and to South Carolina.”
He added, “From cold weather to high prices and supply chain issues, 2022 has already brought lots of uncertainty for South Carolina farmers. Let’s all continue to honor their dedication by seeking out Certified South Carolina food and supporting their hard work.”
The Feeding the Economy study sheds light for policymakers on how the food and agriculture sector not only feeds Americans, but also feeds the U.S. economy. The economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic served to further highlight the critical importance of the food and ag industries.
The report shows that 17.77% of the nation’s economy and 29.14% of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. Additionally, the analysis broke down the food and agriculture sectors’ economic impact by state and congressional district. Here are the key findings for South Carolina:
Total Jobs: 631,504
Exports: $1.1 billion
Total Wages: $25.8 billion
Total Taxes: $8.2 billion
Total Food and Industry Economic Impact: $86.8 billion
Visit www.FeedingTheEconomy.com to view the entire report.
–Eva Moore, SCDA