Agriculture represents a bright spot in the U.S. economy and is underpinning the nation’s economic recovery. Passing a five-year Farm Bill creates the certainty needed for farmers, ranchers and businessesthroughout a sector critical toour entire economy.
American agriculture supports 16 million American jobs.
Agriculture is one of the only sectors of the U.S. economy that boasts a trade surplus. This surplustotaled $38.5 billion in 2012.
Exports totaled $141.3 billionin 2012 – nearly triple the amount in the year 2000. Agricultural exports made up 10% of U.S. exports last year.
Every $1 billion in agricultural exports represents approximately 8,400 American jobs.
Agriculture supports jobs in rural and urban areas alike, creating not just farm but also equipment manufacturing, bio-based manufacturing, food and fiber processing, bio-energy production, retail, and many other forms of jobs in every corner of the country.
The 2014 Farm Bill continues building on the agriculture economy’s momentum. Passing a new Farm Bill will provide the certainty that producers need to continue innovating and producing the world’s safest, healthiest and most abundant food supply. The Farm Bill reduces the deficit by $23 billion dollars, while still increasing investment in successful jobs initiatives that strengthen:
- Export opportunities to help farmers find new global markets for their goods.
- Help for family farmers to sell locally, increasing support for farmers’ markets and spurring the creation of food hubs to connect farmers to schools and other community-based organizations.
- Training and access to capital to make it easier for beginning farmers to get off the ground.
- Initiatives to help American veterans get into farming and start agriculture businesses.
- Growth in bio-based manufacturing (using agricultural products to replace petroleum-based plastics in manufactured goods) to create rural agriculture and urban manufacturing jobs.
- Innovation in bio-energy production, supporting non-food based advanced biomass energy production such as cellulosic ethanol and woody biomass power.
- Research to promote the commercialization of new agricultural innovations.
- Rural development initiatives to help rural communities upgrade infrastructure