You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

States with the biggest agriculture industry

Stacker Logo By Katherine Gallagher of Stacker | Slide 1 of 51: Have you ever stopped to think about where your food comes from? How about the people who work to make sure your food is being grown and processed safely? The sad reality is that 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.

The disconnect between Americans and their food sources is even more concerning, and appears to be rooted in ignorance and lack of exposure rather than stupidity (some readers may remember the controversial survey that found 7% of Americans believe chocolate milk came from brown cows). Less than 2% of the American workforce was directly employed in agriculture in the year 2000, a drastic transition from 40% a century earlier. In a 2011 survey, only 17% of elementary-school students knew that the patty from their hamburger came from an animal. Luckily for future generations, there are organizations like the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization and 4-H helping to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers and fight agricultural illiteracy from youth.

Using data from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Stacker compiled facts about the economic and environmental impact of the agriculture industry for each state, as well as how the industry affects residents and what aspects about that state make it ideal for agriculture. To examine which crops and commodities each state produced or sold the most of in 2018, we also looked at the agricultural overviews from the USDA.

States like Alaska and Hawaii generated a wide range of unique agricultural commodities due to climates that differ from the rest of the country. States such as Texas and Wisconsin produced crops and livestock like cotton, cattle, and dairy cows known worldwide for their quality. Of course, there are always the corn belt states of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas that provide a majority of the country's corn supply thanks to level landscapes and nitrogen-rich soil.

Principally, Stacker took data from 2018 state agricultural overview reports and commodity values from 2012 ranked by the total value of agricultural products sold, provided by the USDA, to list the states with the biggest agriculture industry in order.

You may also like: How each state uses its land

States with the biggest agriculture industry

Have you ever stopped to think about where your food comes from? How about the people who work to make sure your food is being grown and processed safely? The sad reality is that 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.

The disconnect between Americans and their food sources is even more concerning, and appears to be rooted in ignorance and lack of exposure rather than stupidity (some readers may remember the controversial survey that found 7% of Americans believe chocolate milk came from brown cows). Less than 2% of the American workforce was directly employed in agriculture in the year 2000, a drastic transition from 40% a century earlier. In a 2011 survey, only 17% of elementary-school students knew that the patty from their hamburger came from an animal. Luckily for future generations, there are organizations like the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization and 4-H helping to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers and fight agricultural illiteracy from youth.

Using data from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Stacker compiled facts about the economic and environmental impact of the agriculture industry for each state, as well as how the industry affects residents and what aspects about that state make it ideal for agriculture. To examine which crops and commodities each state produced or sold the most of in 2018, we also looked at the agricultural overviews from the USDA.

States like Alaska and Hawaii generated a wide range of unique agricultural commodities due to climates that differ from the rest of the country. States such as Texas and Wisconsin produced crops and livestock like cotton, cattle, and dairy cows known worldwide for their quality. Of course, there are always the corn belt states of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas that provide a majority of the country's corn supply thanks to level landscapes and nitrogen-rich soil.

Principally, Stacker took data from 2018 state agricultural overview reports and commodity values from 2012 ranked by the total value of agricultural products sold, provided by the USDA, to list the states with the biggest agriculture industry in order. Click ahead to see them.

You may also like: How each state uses its land

© kevin conners // Shutterstock

More from Stacker

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon