Animal Agriculture Adds Jobs

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NC Animal Agriculture

Agriculture is North Carolina’s top industry, but a new study crunches the numbers of just how much the animal agriculture sector impacts the state.

When it comes to employment, animal agriculture currently supports 79,300 jobs, adding 9,000 over the past decade. Not only that, it generated $17.4 billion in revenue and a $2.1 billion increase in economic output.

This information comes from the Animal Agriculture Economic Analysis, a study funded by the United Soybean Board. The animal agriculture and soybean industries rely heavily on each other, working together more than any other sectors in agriculture. Soybean farmers grow the plant, which is turned into soybean meal – a protein-packed feed that helps keep the state’s animals productive and healthy.

According to the study, North Carolina broilers (chickens raised for meat) consumed 43 percent of the state’s soybeans, followed by hogs at 39 percent and turkeys at 9 percent. In 2012 alone, the state’s livestock went through an estimated 3.1 million tons of soybean meal from 128.6 million bushels of soybeans.

Additionally, the sector had a $3.1 billion impact on household incomes and $977 million in income property and taxes. North Carolina ranks second in hog production nationally, fifth in poultry production and second in turkey production.

As one of the top commodities in the state, hog farming alone employs more than 46,000 North Carolinians full-time.

Discover more about North Carolina’s animal agriculture sector and its impact on the state’s economy at ncanimalag.com.

– Rachel Bertone

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