Economic benefits of the livestock industry

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — According to a recent report, South Dakota’s livestock industry provides more than 29,000 jobs and contributes $7.3 billion to the state’s economy.

The report was commissioned by the United Soybean Board. It highlights the economic importance of domestic animal agriculture to South Dakota and to the nation as a whole.

Kim Dillivan, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist reviewed the report and shares his summary.

For the report, estimated economic impacts were calculated by a modeling process that quantified the effects U.S. animal agriculture has on employment, income and taxes for the entire economy. These include impacts created by all employment connected to the U.S. livestock and poultry industries – including activities from associated industries.

Livestock and Poultry Industries Benefit U.S. Economy

Based on 2012 figures, the report showed that in the United States, animal agriculture positively contributed to the economy by providing the following:

• 1,851,000 jobs;

• 346 billion in total economic output;

• $60 billion in household income;

• $15 billion in income taxes paid; and

• $6 billion in property taxes paid.

These estimates of U.S. total economic output, income, and taxes are contributions originating directly from the nation’s animal livestock industry.

Livestock and Poultry Industries Benefit South Dakota Economy

South Dakota’s livestock industry contributed to the economy, based on 2012 data, by the providing the following:

• 29,020 jobs;

• $7.3 billion in total economic output;

• $1.1 billion in household income;

• $235 million in income taxes paid; and

• $149 million in property taxes paid.

“Again, these estimates include impacts from all industries related to animal agriculture and can be directly traced to originating from South Dakota animal agriculture,” Dillivan said. “Essentially, without animal agriculture in South Dakota, the benefits to the state’s economy listed above would cease to exist.”

Relocation of Animal Agriculture

The report also documented changes in production levels that occurred in animal agriculture from 2002 to 2012 on a state-by-state basis.

In South Dakota over this period, growth has been pronounced for the following industries:

• Milk production increased 52.7 percent;

• Pork production increased 32.4 percent;

• Turkey production increased 22.2 percent; and

• Egg production increased 17.3 percent.

“A common reason for production increases in U.S. agriculture has been technological advances. However, according to this report, increases in South Dakota livestock and poultry production occurred while other states lost production,” Dillivan said. “Another would be access to feed.”

As a result, he said the increases reported are at least partially the result of shifts in animal production between states and do not just represent overall increases in productivity or efficiency.

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