Virginia’s Role In Agriculture

We reported yesterday about ASD offering classes for new and exisiting farmers as past few years have been challenging ones for the agriculture industry. What has historically been one of America’s most important industries now has a starkly diminished role in terms of job creation and GDP. Still, agriculture plays an important role in several states; however Virginia’s numbers show it is not one of them.

The threat of global climate change has continued to produce warmer temperatures and more extreme weather events that threaten crops and livestock, and this summer, the U.S. is currently experiencing serious drought in some of its key agricultural regions in California, the upper Midwest, and the Southeast.

These recent difficulties have made it harder than ever to prosper as a farmer, particularly on smaller-scale farms. But long-term trends suggest that agriculture’s role in the economy has been shifting for much longer. What has historically been one of America’s most important industries now has a starkly diminished role in terms of job creation and GDP.

Agricultural activities have dropped as a share of GDP in recent decades. After reaching nearly 3.5% of GDP in the early 1970s, farming today represents 0.63% of the economy. One of the reasons for this decline is that farming’s economic value has simply been outstripped by growth in other sectors.

In the state of Virginia, farming accounts for only 0.22% of total Virginia GDP, compared to 0.63% of total U.S. GDP. Farming jobs also contribute almost 1% of total employment in Virginia, compared to 1.28% of all U.S. jobs. Overall, this ranks Virginia’s economy is 10th least dependent on agriculture.

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Commodity.com’s website: https://commodity.com/blog/state-economies-agriculture/

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