On January 10th, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Team Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) unveiled a new report: “Pennsylvania Agriculture: A Look at the Economic Impact and Future Trends.” The report, developed by Philadelphia-based Econsult Solutions and Temple University’s Fox School of Business, provides – for the first time – a detailed look at the direct and indirect impact of Agriculture on the Pennsylvania economy. Agriculture and its associated industries provide a $135.7 billion annual economic impact, representing close to 18% of Pennsylvania’s gross state product. It employs and supports nearly 580,000 people paying wages of $27 billion.
The report also contains a set of strategic recommendations to keep Pennsylvania agriculture competitive. They include:
- Capitalize on branding and marketing opportunities;
- Expand on agricultural infrastructure, such as processing and manufacturing capacity;
- Continue improving regulatory processes and the business climate;
- Broaden workforce development and education opportunities;
- Make additional investments in infrastructure systems like transportation and broadband;
- Diversify products to strengthen markets and build resiliency.
Finally, the report includes a series of deep dives into different agricultural clusters, ranging from crop and animal production to forestry to the equine industry.
In a joint letter accompanying the report PDA Secretary Russell Redding and Team Pennsylvania President & CEO Ryan C. Unger said, “Pennsylvania in many respects is a national leader in food and agriculture, and it is in the commonwealth’s interests to ensure the industry remains a vibrant part of the state’s economy. It is with this goal in mind that we began a process over a year ago to take a fresh look at how we can best build on our collective strengths and plan for a strong future for Pennsylvania agriculture.”
Team Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Advisory Board played a key role in guiding this work and will focus on implementation of the strategic recommendations.
At the unveiling of the economic impact analysis, Governor Wolf stressed the importance of agriculture to the state’s economy.
Watch a video of the speeches given here.