The results of a study revealed at the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture in December 2016 showed that the agriculture industry’s economic contribution to Missouri in 2016 reached $88.4 billion.
This amount includes revenue from crops, livestock, forestry, and other agricultural related inputs and services.
“The results of this study confirm what we’ve always known, that agriculture is the state’s number one industry and second place isn’t even close,” said Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce. “This data will serve as a powerful testimony to the importance of agriculture and will be used when communicating with policymakers and consumers.”
In 2016, agriculture, forestry, and related industries contributed $17.5 billion in labor income to the state. They also brought $33 billion in additional value to Missouri’s economy.
Heading into 2017, farmers are relatively optimistic about the future of agriculture in the state. The “2016 FARMometer Survey” revealed that 65 percent of farmers and ranchers are optimistic. Furthermore, 91 percent said they would encourage their children to follow in their footsteps.
“Even with low grain and livestock prices and the other challenges facing agriculture today, it is not surprising that farmers and ranchers still remain the eternal optimists,” said Richard Fordyce, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. "It truly is a great time to be involved in agriculture."
Blake Hurst, president of Missouri Farm Bureau, added that the state’s farmers and ranchers appear to be supporting public policy efforts to strengthen agricultural markets.