Yesterday, 30 food and agriculture groups released the sixth annual Feeding the Economy report, a historic farm-to-fork economic analysis revealing how these sectors influence the local and broader United States economies. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s study highlights how the industries remained resilient to provide Americans with jobs, economic opportunity and safe food.

This study sheds light for policymakers on how the food and agriculture sector not only feeds Americans, but also feeds the U.S. economy. The economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to further highlight the critical importance of the food and ag industries.

The economic impact study released today shows that 17.77% of the nation’s economy and 29.14% of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. Additionally, the analysis broke down the food and agriculture sectors’ economic impact by state and congressional district. Here are the key findings for Utah:

  • Total Jobs: 438,644
  • Total Wages: $19.9 B
  • Total Taxes: $5.8 B
  • Exports: $1.5 B
  • Total Food and Industry Economic Impact: $71.3 B

“The food and agriculture industries' vital role in feeding Americans is well known, but less talked about is their incredible impact in growing the nation’s economy. The Feeding the Economy report allows us to quantify our industry’s role in supporting the U.S. economy and better understand how we can continue to promote those contributions,” said Craig Buttars, Commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

"These numbers help us quantify what many of us have known for a long time -- that agriculture is critical to our state and our communities and our nation as a whole to survive and be a free people," said Ron Gibson, President of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. "Agriculture really makes up the cultural fabric of our communities and has an impact on local business that is hard to ignore. In the end, we need agriculture to thrive in America."

“Restaurants and the agricultural community are inextricably linked. Together, we support the communities we call home with fresh ingredients and nutritious meals. America’s farmers and ranchers provide safe and abundant food options to more than one million restaurant locations, and we’re looking forward to continuing our strong partnership as the restaurant and foodservice industry continues its recovery,” said Marvin Irby, Interim President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association.

American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Dr. Roger Cryan says the study helps the public understand the impact of agriculture.

"Feeding The Economy is a number of different things. It's a study and it's a website, And it's a partnership among ag groups. It's aimed at helping folks better understand the impact of agriculture," Cryan said. "For the U.S. as a whole, there were about $3 trillion in output in the agriculture sector. This includes the jobs and wages output directly involved in supplying and producing and delivering through the food and agricultural supply chain. Agriculture is a massive industry. And so again, for the U.S., $3 trillion in output, 21 and a half million jobs, $819 billion in wages."

To measure the total economic impact of the sectors, the analysis also includes the direct and indirect economic activity surrounding these industries, capturing both upstream and downstream activity. For example, when a farm equipment retailer hires new employees because farmers are buying more tractors, experts consider the new salaries an indirect impact. Similarly, when a retail associate spends her paycheck, an induced economic impact occurs. Together, these have a multiplier effect on the already formidable direct impact of food and agriculture. 

The data share is all about helping others understand the importance of American agriculture.

"We know that agriculture is important in many different ways. But for those who need more black and white convincing about how important agriculture is this is very helpful. will feed you the numbers for the U.S. and for your state and even for your congressional district," Cryan said. "The objective here is to provide absolutely up-to-date information about how important agriculture is. It helps folks understand, as much as we take it for granted, that the food is there when we need it."

The full analysis underscores the importance the food and agriculture industries have on jobs, wages, exports and taxes in our nation. The data provided includes the indirect and induced economy activity surrounding these industries. 

Visit to view the entire report. 

Sponsoring Organizations include: American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Feed Industry Association, American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, BIO, Corn Refiners Association, CropLife America, FMI - The Food Industry Association, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, International Dairy Foods Association, International Fresh Produce Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), National Corn Growers Association, National Grain and Feed Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Restaurant Association, NCA - The National Confectioners Association, North American Meat Institute, Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Assn (PTNPA), SNAC International, The Fertilizer Institute, The Sugar Association Inc., U.S. Dairy Export Council, U.S. Grains Council