Agriculture Boosts Local Economies
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee Extension recently released reports outlining the estimated agricultural contributions of all 95 counties in Tennessee. The updated reports highlight agriculture’s impact on the output and employment of each county in 2021, providing key information for local and regional policymakers, the agricultural community and general public.
“While agriculture continues to make an important contribution to economic activity, there have been few efforts to estimate agriculture’s contribution to local economies for every county in a given state,” says author David Hughes, professor and Greever Chair in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. “These reports represent UT Extension’s ongoing efforts to identify and meet key needs in Tennessee.”
The reports define agriculture as crop and livestock production; food and fiber processing, such as ice cream plants and textile mills; farm inputs, such as fertilizer plants and feed mills; and forestry-based production, such as sawmills and paper mills. County contributions also include a multiplier or spinoff value that accounts for the impact on the non-agricultural part of the economy. Examples of multiplier effects include local spending by agricultural workers and owner-operators, and farmers and other agricultural businesses purchasing local inputs such as utilities.
“The reports document the continuing importance of agriculture at the county level in Tennessee, even in highly urbanized areas,” says Hughes.
The updated contributions are based on the 2021 economy and are available online at tiny.utk.edu/countyimpacts.
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is composed of UT AgResearch, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT Extension and the Herbert College of Agriculture. Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the Institute touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.