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Staff Paper No. 471 - Abstract

Wisconsin and the Agricultural Economy

Steven C. Deller [scdeller@wisc.edu]

Staff Paper No. 471, March 2004, 31p.

Abstract

In this applied research project I attempt to explore general trends within the Wisconsin agricultural sectors as they relate to the larger Wisconsin economy. Using two metrics of economic activity, income and jobs, I explore recent historical trends. In essence, the analysis finds that production agriculture went through a significant downward phase that has appeared to stabilize over the most recent period. Income from agriculture has become increasingly unstable adding significant uncertainity to the industry. Agricultural processing, however, remains a strong source of income and employment growth. While production agriculture appears to have stabilized and food processing has grown, the rest of the state's economy has grown at a much greater clip, meaning that agriculture as a percent of the Wisconsin economy has declined over time. In addition to the historical analysis a detailed economic impact assessment was undertaken using the most recent data available; 2000. I examine on-farm dairy production and processing, farm production broadly defined and agricultural processing broadly defined. In addition, I examine the role of horticulture, a small but growing part of Wisconsin's agricultural economy. In general, farm production is a modest contributor to the the Wisconsin economy, but food processing is a more significant part of the economy.
Last updated on Thu, Jun 2, 2005 8:51am