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Greg Martin Agriculture’s Large Footprint
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: March 17, 11

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Agriculture’s Large Footprint. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

An updated study of Oregon agriculture's economic footprint shows the industry has actually increased its contribution to the state's overall economy. Despite the fact that agriculture has faced the same recessionary challenges as other industries have endured, the report's updated numbers are impressive.

SEARLE:  Fifteen percent of all economic activity in Oregon is tied to agriculture. Agriculture accounts for more than 22 billion dollars in Oregon's net state product.

Brent Searle of the Oregon Department of Agriculture says the report conducted by Oregon State University bolsters the claim that agriculture is a critically important part of the state's economic past, present, and future. That includes the employment picture.

SEARLE:  There's close to 261-thousand jobs in Oregon that are related to agriculture through this entire chain of process. That's over 12 percent of all jobs. So about one in eight jobs in Oregon are related here.

The new report captures Oregon agriculture's economic contributions from the farm to the consumer, including production, processing, distribution, wholesale, and retail marketing. Its intent is to show Oregonians and policy makers that there's a whole lot more going on with agriculture than what people see when they drive by a farm along the highway. Searle says the updated report shows a smaller dollar figure for ag's overall economic impact on the state compared to the 2008 report, but a bigger portion of the state's total net sales at 15 percent:

SEARLE: Overall, the economic impact is down a little bit. I believe the earlier number was 25 billion, we are down to 22 billion. That is reflective of the overall economy, which is down. But the percentage related to agriculture is up.

Searle says this economic report carries a message for those who work in agriculture:

SEARLE: I think it validates the efforts they have made and demonstrates the solid economic footing that agriculture can generate and does year over year.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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