Unlocking the Power of the Seed


Study Reveals Extensive Role of Food & Ag Sectors in Feeding the U.S. Economy: More than one-fourth of American employment tied to the combined industries.

Washington, D.C., December 4, 2017 – A nationwide economic impact study released on November 16, found that more than one-fifth (or 20.4%) of the nation’s economy is linked, either directly or indirectly, to the food and agriculture sectors and that more than one-fourth of all American jobs (28%) are similarly connected. Twenty-two food and agriculture organizations commissioned this research, available at (The National Oilseed Processors Association is one of the twenty-two agricultural organizations)

Among the most important findings:
• Total Jobs: 43,311,057
• Total Wages: $1.9 trillion
• Total Taxes: $894.13 billion
• Exports: $146.32 billion
• Total Food and Industry Economic Impact: $6.7 trillion

The food and agriculture industries are dynamic contributors to the U.S. economy, accounting for about $6.79 trillion in output or about 20.4% of total national output. They employs approximately 43.31 million Americans who earned wages and benefits of about $1.99 trillion.
The 2017 Food and Agriculture Industries Economic Impact Study estimates the economic contributions made by the food industry to the U.S. economy in 2017. For the purpose of the study, the food industry included any businesses involved in food product agriculture, food manufacturing, food wholesaling, and food retailing (so-called “farm to fork”). John Dunham & Associates conducted this research, which was funded by The Goodstone Group.

The study measures the number of jobs in food and agriculture related industries; the wages paid to employees, the value added and total output. In addition, it measures the economic impact of the suppliers that support the food and agriculture industries, as well as those industries supported by the induced spending of direct and supplier industries.

Industries are linked to each other when one industry buys from another to produce its own products. Each industry in turn makes purchases from a different mix of other industries, and so on. Employees in all industries extend the economic impact when they spend their earnings. Thus, economic activity started in food and agriculture industries generates output (and jobs) in hundreds of other industries, often in states far removed from the original economic activity. The impact of supplier firms, and the “induced impact” of the re-spending by employees of industry and supplier firms, is calculated using an input/output model of the United States.

The study calculates the impact on a national basis, by state, and by Congressional District:

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