MN Livestock: 35k Jobs and $8B Economic Impact

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Press Release

Minnesota Animal Agriculture Sector Is Growing,
Provides Significant Economic Value

New study finds industry employs thousands, contributes billions in revenue and has potential to expand

St. Paul, MN (July 9, 2012) – The Minnesota Livestock Industry Benchmark Report released today, found that Minnesotaʼs animal agriculture industry is substantial and continues to create significant economic value to the state. Animal agriculture provides nearly $8 billion in total direct economic value added and supports nearly 35,000 jobs in direct employment, as well as many thousands more in indirect employment. Additionally, the study revealed that Minnesota has experienced growth in the economic impact of the industry since 2002.

“The most recent analysis of the stateʼs animal agriculture sector shows that the industry continues to create value by serving as an economic engine for the State,” said Daryn McBeth, President of the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council. “Animal agriculture employs thousands of Minnesotans, in rural communities in particular, and contributes billions in revenue annually. There is no question that the strength of this industry is vital to Minnesotaʼs economic health.”

The new analysis, produced by the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council and the University of Minnesota, compared data from 2010 with measurements recorded in 2003, the first time an economic impact analysis was commissioned. Other key findings include:

  • Minnesota is poised to become the No. 2 producer of pork in the country. Pork production has experienced the greatest growth in economic impact – nearly double 2002 numbers – at $2.35 billion.
  • Minnesota is the No. 1 producer of turkeys in the United States. The economic impact from turkey production is up to $807 million, a significant climb from $507 million in 2002.
  • Productivity in Minnesotaʼs dairy production has improved, and economic activity related to production has stabilized even as the inventory of dairy cows has decreased. Economic impact from dairy production— excluding any dairy used in the manufacturing process—has grown by more than $27 million since 2002 to $3.27 billion. Dairy contributes 14,840 Minnesota jobs in farming, processing and feed manufacturing.
  • For the first time, economic impact from beef now tops $1 billion. Minnesota has moved up the ranks since 2002, now ranked No. 9 in cattle on feed and No. 25 in beef cow inventories.
  • Minnesota ranks No. 7 in the country in egg production. Two of the top egg companies are headquartered in Minnesota.

Compared to other states, Minnesota is an animal agriculture leader and has opportunities to expand production and surpass its competitors in some sectors, but challenges remain.

  • Price driving increases in the value of animals but not necessarily increases in production calls into question the systemʼs long-term health.
  • Notable unknowns exist, such as if dairy production will continue to shift back to the Midwest.
  • The lagging worldwide demand for beef and significant competition from other counties may limit future growth opportunities for this sector as a whole.

Still, growth opportunities in the world market are strong. Minnesotaʼs production trends in terms of world consumption are already positive for some livestock sectors, including dairy, pork and poultry. Consumption and income growth in developing countries is fueling further opportunities for Minnesotaʼs animal agriculture sector to increase its production scale and value.

To obtain a copy of the complete study and to view methodology details, go to www.agrigrowth.org/pdf/FullLivestockReport2012.pdf

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