Iowa’s Agriculture Industry Continues to be a Growing Driver of State’s Economy

Livestock farming is playing a large role in the steady growth of Iowa's agriculture industry.
Livestock farming is playing a large role in the steady growth of Iowa's agriculture industry.

According to survey results recently collected by the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers, Iowa’s family farms remain a steady driver of the state’s economy, contributing 6 percent more to the state economy in 2012 than it did in 2007.

The study, which analyzed data from the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture and the IMPLAN system, also showed that more than 33 percent of Iowa’s total economic output came from the agriculture industry in 2012. However, the agriculture industry’s impacts extend well beyond the economic output, as one in every five Iowans are employed in agriculture and ag-related industries. One in six Iowans were employed in agriculture-related industries in 2007.

Spencer Parkinson, of Decision Innovation Solutions who conducted the study, said about the findings, “This study underscores how innovative farmers have been since 2007. Despite major weather events such as drought and flooding over the past seven years, farmers have managed to increase their productivity, benefitting not just agriculture, but all Iowans.”

Brian Waddingham, Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers executive director, noted in the findings that livestock farming and processing alone account for $31.6 billion in economic contribution for the state, representing an uptick of more than $3.5 billion compared to 2007.

The study also revealed that crop farming and processing account for 183,000 jobs and $47.2 billion in economic contributions to Iowa, nearly doubling the amount in 2007’s results.

Iowa’s agriculture industry continues to grow across the board, as 2012’s survey results show livestock and crop farming playing a significant role in the increase.