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States with the biggest agriculture industry

  • States with the biggest agriculture industry
    1/ kevin conners // Shutterstock

    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.

    You may also like: How each state uses its land

  • #50. Alaska
    2/ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health // Flickr

    #50. Alaska

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $58.9 million
    - Number of farm operations: 1,000 (0.9 million acres, #44 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $8.6 million (#48 among all states, average per farm: $11,271)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Aquaculture ($29.8 million); nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($13.0 million); cattle and calves ($1.1 million)

    Alaska's climate is certainly unique with its abundance of sunlight and famously clean air. The state produced 29,000 tons of hay in 2018, for a combined value of $10.3 million, and though the weather is temperamental by agriculture standards, the lack of pests produces some high-quality crops. Alaska officials are aware that their state isn't known for agriculture, so they stamp their products with a distinct seal.

  • #49. Rhode Island
    3/ Laura Stone // Shutterstock

    #49. Rhode Island

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $59.7 million
    - Number of farm operations: 1,100 (0.1 million acres, #50 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: -$1 million (#49 among all states, average per farm: -$812)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($32.8 million); vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes ($9.3 million); fruit, tree nuts, and berries ($4.1 million)

    Rhode Island produced 42,000 tons of corn and more than $1.5 million worth of hay in 2018. The agriculture industry in the small state is steadily growing, evident in the 11% increase in farmland since 2002, and thanks in part to the RI Department of Agriculture's increased marketing strategies. RI residents enjoy the “Get Fresh. Buy Local.” initiative promoting awareness and interest in locally sourced produce.

  • #48. New Hampshire
    4/ John Bilous // Shutterstock

    #48. New Hampshire

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $190.9 million
    - Number of farm operations: 4,100 (0.4 million acres, #48 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: -$10 million (#50 among all states, average per farm: -$2,286)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Milk from cows ($54.8 million); nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($49.9 million); poultry and eggs ($13.5 million)

    New Hampshire produced 252,000 tons of corn and 163,000 gallons of maple syrup in 2018. With New Hampshire becoming the first state to eradicate the disease Brucellosis in cattle, citizens can rest assured in their state's dedication to health. The local department prioritizes safety and closely monitors diseases that affect livestock and poultry, making it a great option for commodities.

  • #47. Massachusetts
    5/ Heidi Besen // Shutterstock

    #47. Massachusetts

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $492.2 million
    - Number of farm operations: 7,200 (0.5 million acres, #47 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $39.5 million (#46 among all states, average per farm: $5,093)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($144.2 million); fruit, tree nuts, and berries ($125.6 million); vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes ($81.2 million)

    Massachusetts produced 240,000 tons of corn, 1.9 million barrels of cranberries, and a whopping 43.4 million pounds of apples in 2018. The state's large number of bogs and marshes make it the second-largest producer of cranberries. Though Massachusetts is considered small, it ranks in the top 10 nationally for its large number of farmers markets and direct sales of agricultural products.

  • #46. Connecticut
    6/ Joepecks19 // Shutterstock

    #46. Connecticut

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $550.6 million
    - Number of farm operations: 5,500 (0.4 million acres, #49 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $25.6 million (#47 among all states, average per farm: $4,278)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($252.9 million); milk from cows ($69.8 million); poultry and eggs ($48.9 million)

    Connecticut produced 16.4 million pounds of apples and racked up $18.96 million worth of hay in 2018. The state has a diverse selection of agricultural and aquacultural products, ranging from tobacco to clams to greenhouse and nursery items. The state in 2019 began talks of producing hemp, a crop known for being sustainable and eco-friendly.

  • #45. Hawaii
    7/ KevinKlimaPhoto // Shutterstock

    #45. Hawaii

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $661.3 million
    - Number of farm operations: 7,300 (1.1 million acres, #43 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $44.0 million (#45 among all states, average per farm: $6,282)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($152.9 million); fruit, tree nuts, and berries ($151.8 million); nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($79.9 million)

    Hawaii's unique tropical climate allows Americans access to domestic crops like chocolate and pineapple that can't be grown as easily on the U.S. mainland. The agricultural department in Hawaii supports farmers and farmland by working to keep invasive pests off the islands, inspecting all plant and animal material as it enters the state. Hawaii produced 2.99 million pounds of taro in 2018 for a value of $1.97 million.

  • #44. Maine
    8/ raigvi // Shutterstock

    #44. Maine

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $763.1 million
    - Number of farm operations: 7,600 (1.3 million acres, #41 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $164.6 million (#42 among all states, average per farm: $20,141)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes ($207.3 million); milk from cows ($126.6 million); fruit, tree nuts, and berries ($114.7 million)

    Maine produced 15.3 million hundredweights of potatoes in 2018, as well as 48 million pounds of apples and 540,000 tons of corn. Agriculture in Maine is very diverse, giving residents access to a wide variety of organic products. Despite its small size, Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world, with more than 38,000 acres devoted.

  • #43. Nevada
    9/ Melanie Hobson // Shutterstock

    #43. Nevada

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $764.1 million
    - Number of farm operations: 3,400 (6.1 million acres, #37 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $168.6 million (#41 among all states, average per farm: $40,745)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Other crops and hay ($280.6 million); cattle and calves ($241.6 million); milk from cows ($125.6 million)

    Nevada had more than 6 million acres devoted to farmland in 2018, producing 1.16 million tons of hay and 900,000 bushels of wheat. The state naturally has an arid climate, but through the implementation of quality irrigation systems, Nevada produces high yields of crop growth. As one of the largest industries in the state, agriculture is a significant contributor to the local economy of its rural areas.

  • #42. Vermont
    10/ Allan Wood Photography // Shutterstock

    #42. Vermont

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $776.1 million
    - Number of farm operations: 6,800 (1.2 million acres, #42 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $152.4 million (#43 among all states, average per farm: $20,772)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Milk from cows ($504.9 million); other crops and hay ($88.3 million); cattle and calves ($61.9 million)

    It's no surprise that Vermont produces the largest quantities of maple syrup in the country, with 1.94 million gallons produced in 2018. That year also saw 20.1 million pounds of apples and 1.1 million tons of hay. The diverse agriculture industry allows Vermont to produce not only dairy and apples, but Christmas trees, emus, and honey. As the state with the most farmers markets per capita, residents can benefit from the abundant availability of all of Vermont's unique products within their own communities.

  • #41. West Virginia
    11/ Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing - Northern VA // Flickr

    #41. West Virginia

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $806.8 million
    - Number of farm operations: 23,400 (3.6 million acres, #39 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $74.4 million (#44 among all states, average per farm: $3,462)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Poultry and eggs ($401.4 million); cattle and calves ($217.4 million); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($37.4 million)

    West Virginia is the country's leader when it comes to small family-run farms, giving the state more economic stability and the farmers more freedom. Due to its abundance of clean water sources, trout and other aquaculture thrives in West Virginia, as well as cattle from the hilly terrain. The state in 2018 produced 922,000 tons of hay, 110 million pounds of apples, and 1.4 million bushels of soybeans.

  • #40. New Jersey
    12/ Andrew F. Kazmierski // Shutterstock

    #40. New Jersey

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $1 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 9,900 (0.8 million acres, #45 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $177.2 million (#40 among all states, average per farm: $19,539)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($405.2 million); vegetables, melons, potatoes and sweet potatoes ($191.7 million); fruit, tree nuts, and berries ($145.4 million)

    New Jersey produced $42.4 million in tomatoes in 2018, as well as $41 million in hay and $39.7 million in bell peppers. The New Jersey department works to protect natural resources and land, as well as support agricultural and food-related organizations such as the National FFA Association and local soup kitchens.

  • #39. Delaware
    13/ Linda Harms // Shutterstock

    #39. Delaware

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $1.3 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 2,300 (0.5 million acres, #46 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $320.7 million (#36 among all states, average per farm: $130,842)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Poultry and eggs ($811.3 million); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($345.3 million); vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes ($61.0 million)

    Delaware's most lucrative crop is grain corn, with more than $90 million worth produced in 2018, followed by soybeans and sweet corn. According to the DDA, their own Sussex County was the birthplace of the first broiler chicken farm in the country. The broiler chicken industry is the top commodity in the state, supporting the local economy with 13,400 jobs.

  • #38. Wyoming
    14/ Christopher Boswell // Shutterstock

    #38. Wyoming

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $1.7 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 11,900 (29.0 million acres, #11 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $236 million (#38 among all states, average per farm: $20,108)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Cattle and calves ($1.1 billion); other crops and hay ($257.6 million); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($169.8 million)

    Wyoming produces over $387 million worth of hay in 2018, as well as $41 million in corn and over $23 in barley. The state uses almost half of its land for agriculture, meaning the wide open plains are both stimulating to the economy in jobs and in cattle production.

  • #37. Utah
    15/ Jason Finn // Shutterstock

    #37. Utah

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $1.8 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 18,100 (10.7 million acres, #26 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $298.4 million (#37 among all states, average per farm: $16,553)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Cattle and calves ($364.2 million); milk from cows ($326.4 million); other crops and hay ($297.2 million)

    The state of Utah produced $359.7 million worth of hay and 42.8 million pounds of tart cherries in 2018. The state may be known for its dry climate (the second driest in the country), but sophisticated irrigation systems and water-conservation programs help keep the agriculture industry booming. Thanks to Utah's own million-acre Great Salt Lake, the state is also a top producer of brine shrimp.

  • #36. Maryland
    16/ Sarah Hart Morgan // Shutterstock

    #36. Maryland

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $2.3 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 12,400 (2 million acres, #40 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $477.0 million (#35 among all states, average per farm: $38,920)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Poultry and eggs ($923 million); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($716.3 million); nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($204.8 million)

    Maryland produced 56.9 million bushels of corn and 24.46 million bushels of soybeans in 2018. The state's "Maryland's Best" program helps its citizens find food products from local farmers and local seafood producers, and also acts as an educational tool where users can learn about the history and heritage of Maryland's agriculture and seafood industry.

  • #35. New Mexico
    17/ Chri Alguire // Shutterstock

    #35. New Mexico

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $2.6 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 24,700 (40.5 million acres, #6 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $234.9 million (#39 among all states, average per farm: $9,501)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Milk from cows ($1.3 billion); cattle and calves ($630.8 million); other crops and hay ($206.1 million)

    There was $211 million worth of hay and $197 million worth of pecans produced in New Mexico in 2019. The state contributes a huge amount to the nation's cash receipt for pecan production, which it is able to do because of its large orchards and high quality of product. New Mexico's climate gives it the ability to produce many different crops, allowing residents to enjoy a variety of farmers markets across the state.

  • #34. South Carolina
    18/ Shanti Hesse // Shutterstock

    #34. South Carolina

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $3 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 24,600 (4.8 million acres, #38 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $627.3 million (#32 among all states, average per farm: $24,829)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Poultry and eggs ($1.5 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($499.6 million); cotton and cottonseed ($213.8 million)

    South Carolina produced $173 million worth of corn and $157 million worth of cotton in 2018. The state boasts rich soil, a year-round growing season, and plenty of farmers with generations of experience. South Carolina's agribusiness, agriculture, and forestry industries supply over 200,000 jobs to the state's economy.

  • #33. Tennessee
    19/ NancyRutledge // Shutterstock

    #33. Tennessee

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $3.6 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 70,000 (10.9 million acres, #25 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $696.4 million (#31 among all states, average per farm: $10,233)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.3 billion); cattle and calves ($735.5 million); poultry and eggs ($552.0 million)

    Tennessee produced almost 77 million bushels of soybeans and over $4 million tons of hay in 2018, with 40% of the state land area dedicated to farmland. International trade helps boost the state's economy with $1 billion worth of raw agricultural products exports each year.

  • #32. Arizona
    20/ Berns Images // Shutterstock

    #32. Arizona

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $3.7 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 19,200 (26.2 million acres, #14 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $600.4 million (#33 among all states, average per farm: $30,012)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes ($764.1 million); milk from cows ($763.0 million); cattle and calves ($700.3 million)

    When it comes to agriculture, one of Arizona's biggest passions is safety. A team of government-trained staff ensures that all of the state's food is grown and processed at the highest standards of public health before it hits the shelves and that those using chemicals or pesticides are properly trained to protect humans and the environment. In 2018 Arizona produced $488 million worth of hay and $453 million worth of lettuce.

  • #31. Virginia
    21/ David Kay // Shutterstock

    #31. Virginia

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $3.8 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 42,500 (7.8 million acres, #34 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $520.1 million (#34 among all states, average per farm: $11,300)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Poultry and eggs ($1.2 billion); cattle and calves ($708.0 million); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($633.7 million)

    Agriculture in Virginia accounts for the state's largest industry, providing 311,000 jobs. Virginia's climate is mild, the water is bountiful, and the soil is rich, which all attributes to a diverse and plentiful number of products such as livestock, vineyards, and ground crops. In 2018 the state produced $347 million worth of hay and $218 million worth of soybeans.

  • #30. Louisiana
    22/ Timothy M Weyer // Shutterstock

    #30. Louisiana

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $3.8 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 27,400 (8.0 million acres, #33 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.3 billion (#24 among all states, average per farm: $44,879)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.8 billion); other crops and hay ($635.3 million); poultry and eggs ($574.2 million)

    Louisiana produced $564 million worth of soybeans, $351 million worth of rice, and $299 million worth of corn in 2018. The multitude of different departments and support industries that help contribute to agriculture makes it an essential part of the state’s economy. Louisiana is a leader in sugarcane production for the U.S. as well, with 15 million tons produced in 2018.  

  • #29. Montana
    23/ outdoorsman // Shutterstock

    #29. Montana

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $4.2 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 26,900 (58 million acres, #2 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.2 billion (#26 among all states, average per farm: $41,855)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.8 billion); cattle and calves ($1.8 billion); other crops and hay ($403.3 million)

    Montana's agriculture industry contributes to the state's economy in a big way, as one in every six workers in Montana is employed in a field relating to agriculture. Known for superior genetics passed down through a history of quality breeding, Montana cattle is world-renowned. The state produced 197.6 million bushels of wheat and 33.6 million bushels of barley in 2018.

  • #28. Oregon
    24/ melissamn // Shutterstock

    #28. Oregon

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $4.9 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 37,200 (16.0 million acres, #17 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $813.5 million (#30 among all states, average per farm: $22,954)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Cattle and calves ($894.5 million); other crops and hay ($803.7 million); nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($756.5 million)

    Oregon produced $595 million worth of hay and $298 million worth of wheat in 2018. Ninety-eight percent of the farms in Oregon are family-owned, and there are over 1,000 farms in the state that have been owned and operated by the same family for over 100 years. Many of the crops that Oregon is known for such as tree fruits and vineyards are labor intensive, making jobs bountiful during the harvest months.

  • #27. Kentucky
    25/ Patrick Jennings // Shutterstock

    #27. Kentucky

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $5.1 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 75,100 (12.9 million acres, #23 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $882.6 million (#29 among all states, average per farm: $11,453)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.7 billion); poultry and eggs ($1.1 billion); cattle and calves ($1.0 billion)

    A study in 2015 showed that agricultural accounts for over 258,000 jobs in Kentucky. The official state marketing program for agriculture, “Kentucky Proud,” directly impacts the more than 4,000 local members as well as the state as a whole through economic endeavors. In 2018 there were $910 million worth of soybeans and $817 million worth of corn produced in Kentucky.

  • #26. New York
    26/ kevin conners // Shutterstock

    #26. New York

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $5.4 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 33,400 (6.9 million acres, #36 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.2 billion (#25 among all states, average per farm: $34,240)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Milk from cows ($2.4 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($855.9 million); cattle and calves ($449.5 million)

    Don't make the mistake of thinking New York is restricted to just the city, there are close to seven million acres dedicated to farmlands throughout the state to help feed the 19 million consumers who live in-state. Outside of New York City, there are lands full of rich soil and the right amount of rain for crops like cabbage, corn, and soybeans to thrive. Additionally, New York produced 5.23 million tons of hay and 16 million bushels of soybeans in 2018.

  • #25. Alabama
    27/ Corey McDonald Photography // Shutterstock

    #25. Alabama

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $5.6 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 39,700 (8.5 million acres, #31 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.1 billion (#27 among all states, average per farm: $24,673)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Poultry and eggs ($3.6 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($435.5 million); cattle and calves ($429.3 million)

    Although cotton is the #1 produced crop in Alabama, the state also grew two million tons of hay and 39 million bushels of corn in 2018. Alabama farmers rely on the state's pest-eradication systems that helped bring the cotton industry out of remission in the early 1900s. Since cotton is grown in 59 out of the 67 counties that make up Alabama, the economic impact of the industry is huge, accounting for more than 340,000 jobs.

  • #24. Mississippi
    28/ JNix // Shutterstock

    #24. Mississippi

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $6.4 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 34,700 (10.4 million acres, #27 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.6 billion (#20 among all states, average per farm: $42,869)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Poultry and eggs ($2.7 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($2.3 billion); cotton and cottonseed ($367.8 million)

    Mississippi produced more than $1 billion in soybeans in 2018, followed only by cotton at $507.25 million. Agriculture as an industry employs 29% of the state's workforce, directly and indirectly, as there are 36,700 farms throughout Mississippi.

  • #23. Oklahoma
    29/ Bob Pool // Shutterstock

    #23. Oklahoma

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $7.1 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 77,300 (34.2 million acres, #8 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $954.8 million (#28 among all states, average per farm: $11,899)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Cattle and calves ($3.4 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.3 billion); poultry and eggs ($961.3 million)

    Oklahoma produced a little over 5 million tons of hay and 70 million bushels of wheat in 2018. The state has begun to embrace commodities other than cattle and wheat (the two largest industries) in recent years, helping to provide more jobs and more diversity to its citizens. The fertile soil in this state allows for crops such as wheat and corn to grow right next to vineyards and organic farms.

  • #22. Pennsylvania
    30/ John Bilous // Shutterstock

    #22. Pennsylvania

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $7.4 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 53,000 (7.3 million acres, #35 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.8 billion (#18 among all states, average per farm: $29,593)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Milk from cows ($2 billion); poultry and eggs ($1.4 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.2 billion)

    Production agriculture accounts for $5.7 billion in cash receipts annually for Pennsylvania, making it one of the most important economic forces throughout the entire state. There are more than 7 million acres of land dedicated to farm operations in Pennsylvania, giving livestock such as dairy cattle plenty of room to graze and produce milk (the #1 agricultural commodity sold). In 2018 the state also produced $738 million worth of hay.

  • #21. Florida
    31/ VAlekStudio // Shutterstock

    #21. Florida

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $7.7 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 47,500 (9.7 million acres, #30 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.5 billion (#21 among all states, average per farm: $31,382)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Fruit, tree nuts, and berries ($1.8 billion); nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($1.7 billion); vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes ($1.3 billion)

    Unsurprisingly, Florida's highest producing crop is oranges, and the state grew almost $613 million worth of them in 2018. Florida's hot climate and year-round growing season allows for the production of the greatest number of oranges in the country, providing jobs and economic growth for the whole state.

  • #20. Colorado
    32/ VDB Photos // Shutterstock

    #20. Colorado

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $7.8 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 38,900 (31.8 million acres, #9 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.3 billion (#23 among all states, average per farm: $37,271)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Cattle and calves ($4.3 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.5 billion); milk from cows ($559.4 million)

    Agriculture industries in Colorado help support more than 170,000 jobs across the state. The diverse landscapes and climates in Colorado also support a vast amount of production, including cattle, spinach, beets, and oats. In 2018 Colorado produced $788 million worth of hay and $585 million worth of corn.

  • #19. Idaho
    33/ B Brown // Shutterstock

    #19. Idaho

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $7.8 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 24,800 (11.6 million acres, #24 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.5 billion (#22 among all states, average per farm: $59,534)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Milk from cows ($2.3 billion); cattle and calves ($1.8 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.4 billion)

    Idaho's volcanic soil full of minerals makes it the ideal climate for growing potatoes, the state's highest yielding crop. In 2018 Idaho produced 140 million hundredweights for a production value of $960 million. The wide variety of different crops grown throughout the state (144 according to the state's department of agriculture) Idaho residents can enjoy a wide range of foods available to them at farmers markets or local grocery stores.

  • #18. Michigan
    34/ iyd39 // Shutterstock

    #18. Michigan

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $8.7 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 47,000 (9.8 million acres, #29 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $2.2 billion (#14 among all states, average per farm: $42,738)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($3.6 billion); milk from cows ($1.5 billion); nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod ($727.8 million)

    Michigan produced more than $1 billion worth of corn in 2018, followed closely by soybeans. The food and agriculture industry employs 805,000 residents throughout its almost 10 million acres of farmlands.

  • #17. Washington
    35/ Trong Nguyen // Shutterstock

    #17. Washington

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $9.1 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 35,700 (14.7 million acres, #19 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $1.8 billion (#19 among all states, average per farm: $47,047)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Fruit, tree nuts, and berries ($2.9 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.5 billion); milk from cows ($1.1 billion)

    Washington is known for wheat and potatoes, of which it produced $835 million worth and $688 million worth in 2018, respectively. A large state, the western region is known more for cooler climates and the eastern known more for drier climates perfect for growing wheat. Close to 15 million acres of farmland and 300 commercial crops and livestock products provide a wide range of jobs available to the population.

  • #16. Missouri
    36/ Steve Collender // Shutterstock

    #16. Missouri

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $9.2 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 95,000 (27.7 million acres, #12 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $2 billion (#16 among all states, average per farm: $20,053)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($3.9 billion); cattle and calves ($2.0 billion); poultry and eggs ($1.4 billion)

    Almost 90% of the farms in Missouri are family owned, and over one in 10 Missouri-based jobs are in the agriculture and forestry industry. The southern region in Missouri is good for growing crops like corn and soybeans, while the north is suited for rice and cotton. In 2018 Missouri produced more than $2 million in soybeans and more than $1.5 million in corn.

  • #15. Georgia
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    #15. Georgia

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $9.3 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 41,600 (10.1 million acres, #28 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $2.1 billion (#15 among all states, average per farm: $50,379)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Poultry and eggs ($4.8 billion); cotton and cottonseed ($1 billion); other crops and hay ($1 billion)

    Georgia produced over $735 million worth of cotton and $578.5 million worth of peanuts in 2018. Georgia can thank its exceptionally large landmass, the largest east of the Mississippi, for its ability to produce large quantities of diverse crops such as pecans, melons, and soybeans. The state's department of agriculture doesn't just monitor the farmlands, but grocery stores, food warehouses, and food-processing plants as well to benefit its citizens.

  • #14. Arkansas
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    #14. Arkansas

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $9.8 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 42,500 (13.9 million acres, #21 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $2.5 billion (#13 among all states, average per farm: $56,454)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($4.2 billion); poultry and eggs ($4.0 billion); Cattle and calves ($766.5 million)

    Arkansas produced almost $1.5 billion worth of soybeans in 2018, as well as just over $1 billion worth of rice and close to $432 million worth of corn. The state is able to grow so many soybeans due to “advances in agricultural production,” giving Arkansas the ability to farm 38% more beans in 32 fewer acres in 40 years. In 2009, the state's economy benefited from $17 million thanks to the agriculture industry.

  • #13. Ohio
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    #13. Ohio

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $10.1 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 77,800 (13.9 million acres, #21 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $3 billion (#11 among all states, average per farm: $39,714)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($5.8 billion); poultry and eggs ($946.6 million); milk from cows ($938.3 million)

    Ohio produced $2.5 billion worth of soybeans and over $2 billion worth of corn in 2018. The industry benefits through the state's Department of Agriculture's preservation programs, which has helped preserve over 20,000 acres of farmland over five years. The state marketing program for agriculture, “Ohio Proud,” helps promote Ohio-grown food and help consumers find locally-grown products and companies.

  • #12. South Dakota
    40/ Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

    #12. South Dakota

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $10.2 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 29,600 (43.2 million acres, #5 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $3.3 billion (#7 among all states, average per farm: $102,822)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($5.8 billion); cattle and calves ($3 billion); hogs and pigs ($446.8 million)

    In 2018, South Dakota produced over $2.5 billion worth of corn and just over $2 billion worth of soybeans. A state deeply rooted in agriculture, South Dakota citizens benefit from the industry through the economic benefits that farmers and ranchers bring. Those farmers and ranchers have been working the land since the 19th century, continuing to pass down the wisdom and experience they've built up through their careers.

  • #11. North Dakota
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    #11. North Dakota

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $11 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 26,100 (39.3 million acres, #7 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $4.6 billion (#6 among all states, average per farm: $147,128)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($8.8 billion); cattle and calves ($1.1 billion); other crops and hay ($592.4 million)

    North Dakota grew over $2 billion worth of soybeans and $1.8 billion worth of wheat in 2018. The state is able to produce so many crops because of how much land is dedicated to growing— 90% of the land that makes up North Dakota is used for farms and ranches. With the country's growing demand for ethanol and biodiesel, the state's economy has benefitted from adding more and more corn and soybean crops throughout the state.

  • #10. Indiana
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    #10. Indiana

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $11.2 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 56,100 (15.0 million acres, #18 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $3.1 billion (#9 among all states, average per farm: $52,861)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($7.2 billion); hogs and pigs ($1.3 billion); poultry and eggs ($1.2 billion)

    Part of the corn belt region where the rich soil full of organic materials and nitrogen, Indiana produced $3.5 billion worth of corn in 2018. The agriculture industry employs 107,500 workers directly, with every dollar in wages and income from farm, food, and forest workers, two and a half times that goes into the local economy.

  • #9. Wisconsin
    43/ Nancy Gill // Shutterstock

    #9. Wisconsin

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $11.7 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 64,800 (14.3 million acres, #20 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $3.1 billion (#10 among all states, average per farm: $44,058)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Milk from cows ($5.0 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($3.4 billion); cattle and calves ($1.4 billion)

    Known throughout the country for its cheese and dairy products, Wisconsin also produced almost $2 billion in corn and almost $1 billion in hay in 2018. Wisconsin cheesemakers have 160 years of experience in the craft, producing some of the best in the United States and benefiting the local economy due to its high demand.

  • #8. North Carolina
    44/ William Howard // Shutterstock

    #8. North Carolina

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $12.6 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 46,400 (8.4 million acres, #32 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $2.9 billion (#12 among all states, average per farm: $57,042)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Poultry and eggs ($4.8 billion); hogs and pigs ($2.9 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($1.8 billion)

    North Carolina's most lucrative crop is tobacco, with the state producing $478.5 million worth in 2018. Over 1,600 farms throughout the state are considered “century farms,” or farms that have been owned by the same family for more than 100 years. This not only assures that the farms get the most yield due to the experience of the farmers but added job stability for the economy as well.

  • #7. Illinois
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    #7. Illinois

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $17.2 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 72,000 (27 million acres, #13 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $5.9 billion (#4 among all states, average per farm: $79,229)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($13.6 billion); hogs and pigs ($1.5 billion); cattle and calves ($984.5 million)

    As a state with some of the world's most fertile and diverse soil, Illinois was able to produce more than $8 billion worth of corn and more than $6 billion worth of soybeans in 2018. The state's department of agriculture works to preserve and protect the state's precious soil resources, of which there are over 1,500 different types. The economy in Illinois is affected even more by the vast number of agricultural-related industries such as food processing and meat packing.

  • #6. Kansas
    46/ YuriyZhuravov // Shutterstock

    #6. Kansas

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $18.5 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 58,900 (45.8 million acres, #3 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $3.1 billion (#8 among all states, average per farm: $50,903)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Cattle and calves ($10.2 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($6.5 billion); hogs and pigs ($697.0 million)

    With $2.3 billion worth of corn produced in 2018, Kansas certainly benefits from its placement inside the fertile soil of the corn belt. Additionally, one in five Kansas citizens are employed in jobs related to either agriculture and food production.

  • #5. Minnesota
    47/ Dan Thornberg // Shutterstock

    #5. Minnesota

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $21.3 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 68,500 (25.5 million acres, #15 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $7 billion (#3 among all states, average per farm: $94,345)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($12.3 billion); hogs and pigs ($2.8 billion); milk from cows ($1.6 billion)

    Minnesota produced $4.6 billion worth of corn and $3.3 billion worth of soybeans in 2018. The state's department of agriculture provides services directly to Minnesota's farmers, including education in risk management and support in organic and sustainable farming techniques.

  • #4. Nebraska
    48/ Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

    #4. Nebraska

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $23.1 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 45,900 (45 million acres, #4 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $5.4 billion (#5 among all states, average per farm: $108,593)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($10.7 billion); cattle and calves ($10.1 billion); Hogs and pigs ($1.1 billion)

    Another member of the corn-belt family, Nebraska produced a whopping $6.3 billion worth of corn in 2018 thanks to the state's warm weather and evenly distributed rainfall. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture website provides residents with information about farmers markets as well as a fun kid's page to help children get educated and involved in the state's agricultural industry from a young age.

  • #3. Texas
    49/ Richard A McMillin // Shutterstock

    #3. Texas

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $25.4 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 247,000 (127.0 million acres, #1 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $2 billion (#17 among all states, average per farm: $7,901)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Cattle and calves ($13.0 billion); grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($3.0 billion); poultry and eggs ($2.6 billion)

    While most people think of cattle when they think of Texas' agricultural industry, Texas also produced $2.3 billion worth of cotton in 2018. Due to substantial advances in biotechnology and the high demand for quality Texas cotton, farms throughout the state have been able to increase yields and use fewer harmful chemicals. As natural fibers continue to gain popularity in the U.S., Texas cotton, and the economy in response, is in a good place.

  • #2. Iowa
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    #2. Iowa

    - Total value of agricultural products sold: $30.8 billion
    - Number of farm operations: 86,000 (30.6 million acres, #10 among all states)
    - Net income of farm operations: $9.8 billion (#1 among all states, average per farm: $110,329)
    - Top agricultural commodities sold: Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas ($17.1 billion); hogs and pigs ($6.8 billion); Cattle and calves ($4.5 billion)

    The largest corn-producing state in the corn belt, Iowa grew over $8.7 billion worth of the crop in 2018. The state has worked to improve its water quality through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, restoring 72 wetlands that help remove over 54,000 tons of nitrates over their lifetime and benefitting 86,000 acres of land. There are 220 farmers markets throughout Iowa providing fresh local food to its residents.

  • #1. California
    51/ Lukasz Szwaj // Shutterstock

    #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 produced $2.3 billion worth of strawberries and $1.2 billion worth of hay in 2018. According to the state's department of agriculture, the $54 billion industry has thrived for the past 50 years thanks to the blending of old and new techniques by California farmers and ranchers.

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