Annual Industry Study Underscores the Vital Role Food & Ag Sectors Play In Feeding South Carolina’s Economy

Today, 30 food and agriculture groups released the sixth annual Feeding the Economy report, a historic farm-to-fork economic analysis revealing how these sectors influence the local and broader United States economies. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s study highlights how the industries remained resilient to provide Americans with jobs, economic opportunity and safe food.

This study sheds light for policymakers on how the food and agriculture sector not only feeds Americans, but also feeds the U.S. economy. The economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to further highlight the critical importance of the food and ag industries.

The economic impact study released today shows that 17.77% of the nation’s economy and 29.14% of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. Additionally, the analysis broke down the food and agriculture sectors’ economic impact by state and congressional district. Here are the key findings for South Carolina:

Total Jobs:​ 631,504
Total Wages:​ $25.8 billion
Total Taxes:​ $8.2 billion
Exports:​ $1.1 billion
Total Food and Industry Economic Impact: $86.8 billion

“Agriculture has long been recognized as the top industry in South Carolina, but the economic impact of food and agriculture industries nationwide is vital to growing our nation's economy," said South Carolina Farm Bureau President Harry Ott. "The Feeding the Economy report allows us to quantify our industry’s role in supporting the U.S. economy and better understand how we can continue to promote those contributions."

To measure the total economic impact of the sectors, the analysis also includes the direct and indirect economic activity surrounding these industries, capturing both upstream and downstream activity. For example, when a farm equipment retailer hires new employees because farmers are buying more tractors, experts consider the new salaries an indirect impact. Similarly, when a retail associate spends her paycheck, an induced economic impact occurs. Together, these have a multiplier effect on the already formidable direct impact of food and agriculture.

The full analysis underscores the importance the food and agriculture industries have on jobs, wages, exports and taxes in our nation. The data provided includes the indirect and induced economy activity surrounding these industries.

Visit to view the entire report.

Sponsoring Organizations include: American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Feed Industry Association, American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, BIO, Corn Refiners Association, CropLife America, FMI - The Food Industry Association, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, International Dairy Foods Association, International Fresh Produce Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), National Corn Growers Association, National Grain and Feed Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Restaurant Association, NCA - The National Confectioners Association, North American Meat Institute, Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Assn (PTNPA), SNAC International, The Fertilizer Institute, The Sugar Association Inc., U.S. Dairy Export Council, U.S. Grains Council.

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