The study, authored by Steven Deller, a UW-Extension community development specialist and professor in the UW-Madison agricultural and applied economics department, is a follow-up to a previous study published in 2009 using 2007 data.
According to the study, despite the combined effects of the drought of 2012 and the Great Recession, agriculture remains an important part of Wisconsin’s economy. The study specifically highlights the overall strength of the dairy industry and the role it plays in fueling the state’s economy, particularly growing industry segments which include creamery butter and dry, condensed and evaporated dairy products.
“Dairy continues to flourish as a strong and vital industry in our state,” said James Robson, CEO of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. “As an organization, we are honored to promote and serve the many dairy families and businesses that help generate $43.4 billion dollars for the Wisconsin economy.”
The study also indicates 78,000 jobs in agriculture are specifically related to the dairy industry and that about one in ten people working in Wisconsin hold a job related to agriculture. These jobs include farmers, their employees and those providing them with goods and services—veterinarians, crop and livestock consultants, feed and fuel suppliers, equipment dealers and lenders—as well as those employed in equipment manufacturing and food processing.
The full report “Contribution of Agriculture to the Wisconsin Economy: Updated for 2012” is available online at wp.aae.wisc.edu/wfp/contribution-of-agriculture-to-the-wisconsin-economy.