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Fruit Production & Exports Help Local Economy
by Lacy Gray, click here for bio
Program: Washington Ag Today
Date: June 15, 12
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On Tuesday USDA Agriculture Under Secretary Michael Scuse stopped by Olmstead Family Orchards, a Yakima Valley cherry orchard, to visit with growers and members of the media about how important trade is to Northwest cherry growers and the local economy. B.J. Thurlby, President of the Washington Fruit Commission and NW Cherry Growers, who was also in attendance, told the group that every box of exported Washington cherries comes back into the state tax coffers at $11 per box. In response to that Scuse brought up an interesting study fact.
SCUSE: There was a study done not too long ago that showed that for every dollar that we spend in export promotion we have a $35 return on investment. I don’t know where else you can get that. And with that return on investment that’s money that’s going back into our local communities. And if you look at the areas where in the last several years have weathered the economic storm, if you will, the best, it’s rural America. And it’s because of the strength of our agricultural community, the strength of our export sales - $137 billion in exports last year supports about eight thousand jobs for every billion dollars that we have. So, it’s been a huge impact on our nation’s economy.
In 2011 Northwest cherry grower exports totaled $257 million, up 43 percent from 2010.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.
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