A federal official says many states with agriculture-based economies, like Nebraska, weathered the financial woes of recent years very well and now they’re rebounding more quickly.
John Whitaker, executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency, says farmers have been a bright spot in the country’s economic recovery.
“It is agriculture in the Midwest that is helping lead the national economy out of one of the worst, or the worst recessions since the Great Depression,” Whitaker says.
Whitaker says the ag economy has continued to push things ahead while other industries slowed.
“We’re at record farm income, have been at record farm income for two years in a row. Those kinds of things create jobs,” Whitaker says. “Of course, with one in 12 jobs in the United States tied to agriculture, having a robust ag economy helps lift us up.”
Nebraska is one of the nation’s leaders in the production of beef, soybeans, corn and ethanol and much of that production is exported.
“The record exports that we’ve been doing gives us an opportunity to help feed the world and help to show the world the quality of products that are produced in America,” according to Whitaker.
The global population is projected to reach nine-billion people by 2050.
The challenge — experts say — will be for agriculture to produce 40% more from existing acres in order to feed that predicted population.
By Dan Skelton, KICD, Spencer