Agriculture industry 'Tremendous Force' in Idaho economy

Jan 26, 2012

Agriculture is a tremendous force in shaping the Idaho economy, according to John Hammel, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho. Hammel told state budget writers Wednesday that the industry’s strength comes from its diversity.

“It is tremendously diverse, with over 150 commodities grown statewide, and has a growing livestock sector, which is led by dairy production. This diversity minimizes the impact to Idaho from a downturn in any particular agricultural sector,” says Hammel.

Hammel told the Joint Finance- Appropriations Committee that Agriculture provides a critical base to the state economy because of its linkages to other industry sectors, such as construction and trucking.

A recent study from the University of Idaho said Idaho’s farmers and ranchers posted a record year in 2011, with cash receipts totaling $7.4 billion, up 29 percent from 2010.

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