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Study recognizes agriculture's impact on Connecticut's economy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A university study shows the impact of agriculture on Connecticut's economy.
A university study shows the impact of agriculture on Connecticut's economy.

Farm equipment may do a lot more for Connecticut than people realize, according to a recent study of agriculture in the state.

According to the University of Connecticut, agriculture is a $3.5 billion industry in the state. That is a far cry from previous estimates made by lawmakers, which had it at about $2 billion.

The study's authors noted on a per capita level, agriculture produces $1,000 in sales for every resident in the state. Its value-added impact is $1.7 billion, which is the amount of money the industry puts in the hands of people. Those funds are returned to Connecticut's economy through goods and services purchased.

"Because the agricultural industry purchases goods and services from other industries and hires local labor, its economic impact cascades throughout the state's economy," the study's authors said.

While there are some field crops in the Connecticut, its agricultural base is made mostly of nurseries, greenhouses, floriculture and sod production. Dairy farming and tobacco production also play a role.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture has made further efforts to try and encourage residents to buy locally produced items. One way it hopes to do so is by having people visit area farmers markets.

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