Michael T. Scuse

Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse

This week, 30 food and agriculture groups released the sixth annual Feeding the Economy report (https://feedingtheeconomy.com/), a historic farm-to-fork economic analysis revealing how the sectors influence the local and broader United States economies. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s study highlights how the industries remained resilient to provide Americans with jobs, economic opportunity, and safe food to Delaware families.

“Delaware has a rich farming history and this data released today shows that agriculture remains our number one industry,” said Gov. John Carney. “The COVID-19 pandemic showed us just how critical the food and agriculture industries are in our state. That’s why we’re making investments in our technology infrastructure that will bring high-speed internet to drive farming operations and we will continue to prioritize farmland preservation. Twenty-five percent of Delaware’s family farms are now preserved forever. What a great thing to celebrate on National Agriculture Day.”

The economic impact study shows that 17.77 percent of the nation’s economy and 29.14 percent of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. Additionally, the analysis broke down the food and agriculture sectors’ economic impact by state. The findings for Delaware include:

• Total jobs, 122,609

• Direct jobs, 66,371

• Total wages, $7.1 billion

• Total taxes,​ $1.6 billion

• Exports:, $331.0 million

• Total food and industry economic impact, $21.7 billion.

To measure the total economic impact of the sectors, the analysis also includes the direct and indirect economic activity surrounding these industries, capturing both upstream and downstream activity. For example, when a farm equipment retailer hires new employees because farmers are buying more tractors, experts consider the new salaries an indirect impact. Similarly, when a retail associate spends her paycheck, an induced economic impact occurs. Together, these have a multiplier effect on the direct impact of food and agriculture.

“Delaware agricultural producers are some of the best in the country. This study shows the true economic impact they have on our state,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “The latest numbers for our food exports continue to grow, and with the ongoing improvements at the Port of Wilmington, we expect our exports of agricultural products to increase in the coming years.”

The full analysis underscores the importance the food and agriculture industries have on jobs, wages, exports and taxes in the nation, officials said. The data provided includes the indirect and induced economy activity surrounding these industries.

Visit FeedingTheEconomy.com to view the entire report.