UF Study: Florida’s Ag and Natural Resources Industries Remain Strong

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(GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Florida) — Florida’s agriculture, natural resources and related food industries provided a $104 billion impact on the state in 2011 and have continued to improve since the 2008 recession, according to a new University of Florida study.

The study is the latest report from researchers in UF’s food and resource economics department — part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences — on the industries’ economic contributions. It can be viewed here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FE/FE93500.pdf.

The industries include crop, livestock, forestry and fisheries production; agricultural product and service providers; food product manufacturing; forest product manufacturing; food distribution; mining and nature-based recreation.

They accounted for employment of just under 2 million full- and part-time workers in 2011, including indirect jobs in related sectors. This represents 20 percent of all jobs in the state. The number of jobs in the agricultural and natural resources industries increased by about 60,000, or 4.4 percent, from 2010 to 2011.

The agricultural and natural resources industries’ value-added contribution represented 8.5 percent of Florida’s gross domestic product, placing agriculture, natural resources and related food industries, fourth among state industries, behind real estate, government and health care industries.

“We saw continued growth in many segments of the industry in 2011,” said Alan Hodges, a UF/IFAS extension scientist and co-author of the study. “There definitely was a dip during the recession, but since then there has been a nice recovery as output and employment in the industry have increased.”

The industries have been particularly helped by growth in exports since the recession, he said.

“The increased shipments of food and agricultural products out of the state reflect the strength of the rest of the U.S. and world economies,” he said.

The industries hit a low point in 2008 when GDP impacts dropped from more than $100 billion to about $81 billion.

The researchers conducted the study using IMPLAN economic modeling software that takes into account the multiplier effects of money circulating through the economy.

Contacts for more information:
By Robert H. Wells, 352-273-3569; rhwells@ufl.edu
Source: Alan Hodges, 352-294-7674; awhodges@ufl.edu