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IU Study puts Numbers to Value of Indiana Agriculture


Indiana agriculture has an impressive showing in a new study from the IU Kelley School of Business. The report concludes that agriculture is integral to the state economy and has been greatly enhanced by export markets. Agricultural exports in 2010 totaled $3.4 billion or 11 percent of all the state’s exports. But the total agricultural export footprint extends to over 5 and a half billion dollars when the ripple effect of those exports sales is considered.

The Indiana Soybean Alliance funded the study and that group’s president, Kevin Wilson, a Cass County farmer, felt the study would reveal some positive data, “but some of the numbers were actually a little bit stronger than I anticipated they might show up. The number of jobs we create was a little bit higher than what I actually thought it might be, and the amount of impact and dollars for exports in the ag community as well.”

Wilson told HAT ISA funded the study to simply put some facts and figures together to reflect ag’s real impact on the Indiana economy, and that could help in the future at the statehouse.

“Well I think it gives us a little more stake hold in our positioning when it comes to maybe gaining some support and dollars in the statehouse, and it gives us a little more of a positive background as to what we’re doing in agriculture throughout the state. So people can gain a little more confidence in what we’re trying to accomplish out here on the farm.”

In the last decade exports from Indiana agriculture more than doubled, and in every sector except vegetables, the value of production increased by double or triple.

During the survey year, 2010, over 100,000 Hoosiers worked in agriculture in some way, and the combined effects of agricultural exports alone supported an estimated 34,800 jobs statewide. About 18,100 of these jobs were on farms or in food processing activities. Purchases in the agriculture supply chain and the household spending of farm workers and other industry employees accounted for an additional 16,700 jobs.

Over one and a half billion dollars in soybeans and related products made for half of the agricultural exports in 2010. There was another $1.1 billion in economic ripple effects due to soybean exports, with over 17,700 Indiana jobs supported.

The rest of the top five export commodities in 2010 came from feed grains and related products with $800 million in exports, livestock and meat, and poultry and wheat products.

The rate of growth for Indiana agriculture, the amount of ethanol exported, and ag’s impact on government revenues are all covered in the study, “Cultivating Trade: The Economic Impact of Indiana’s Agricultural Exports.” It is available at the Indiana Business Research Center website.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/04/Indiana-Ag-fares-well-in-IU-study.mp3|titles=Indiana Ag fares well in IU study]