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States With the Biggest Agriculture Industry, Ranked

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Most Americans don’t recognize just how much the agriculture industry affects their everyday lives. The connection is not solely confined to your grocery store, either—industries affected by the agricultural sector include food/beverage service, forestry, and textiles, just to name a few.

Less than 2 percent of the American workforce was directly employed in agriculture in the year 2000, a drastic transition from 40 percent a century earlier. To improve consumer’s relationships with this industry, organizations like Future Farmers of America and 4-H help to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers and fight agricultural illiteracy from youth.

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1. California

– Total value of agricultural products sold: $42.6 billion
– Number of farm operations: 69,400 (24.3 million acres, #16 among all states)
– Net income of farm operations: $8.5 billion (#2 among all states, average per farm: $109,474)
– Top agricultural commodities sold: Fruit, tree nuts, and berries ($17.6 billion); milk from cows ($6.9 billion); vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes ($6.3 billion)

California’s agricultural industry has thrived for the past 50 years thanks to the blending of old and new techniques by California farmers and ranchers, according to the state’s department of agriculture. In Northern California, many farmers are switching to regenerative agriculture practices that use less water and rely on a holistic, natural approach to growing plants while nourishing the soil at the same time.

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