Infographics/County Ag Profiles

Agriculture as Economic Development

(Discussion Points for the County & Regional Agricultural Profiles )

North Carolina’s agricultural industry, including food, fiber and forestry, contributes $91.9 billion to the state’s economy, accounts for more than 17 percent of the state’s income, and employs 17 percent of the workforce. *

North Carolina is one of the most diversified agriculture states in the nation. The state’s 46,418 farmers grow over 80 different commodities, utilizing 8.4 million of the state’s 31 million acres to furnish consumers a dependable and affordable supply of food and fiber. The state ranks eighth nationally in Total Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold. Net income per farm in the state is over $86,645.

This Local Food and Farms infographic is designed for economic developers, planners, local food advocates, and community members to understand the impact of their county and region to the overall NC agricultural economic impact. The economic indicators provided here can help local governments as they design ways to support agricultural businesses as key components of vibrant and resilient, local and rural economies. Each region in North Carolina presents a unique set of opportunities for sustainable economic growth and entrepreneurship.

Consider one example: When school systems purchase food from local farmers, students benefit from access to healthy fresh produce, farmers benefit from sales into local schools, and the community benefits because these local sales are spent at other local businesses. This type of local business opportunity keeps farms in production, maintaining North Carolina’s agricultural asset base both in terms of land and farming know-how. And it keeps dollars spent on food circulating among other local businesses.

North Carolina (statewide data)2017
Alamance County20122017
Alexander County20122017
Alleghany County20122017
Anson County20122017
Ashe County20122017
Avery County20122017
Beaufort County20122017
Bertie County20122017
Bladen County20122017
Brunswick County20122017
Buncombe County20122017
Burke County20122017
Cabarrus County20122017
Caldwell County20122017
Camden County20122017
Carteret County20122017
Caswell County20122017
Catawba County20122017
Chatham County20122017
Cherokee County20122017
Chowan County20122017
Clay County20122017
Cleveland County20122012
Columbus County20122017
Craven County20122017
Cumberland County20122012
Currituck County20122012
Dare County20122012
Davidson County20122017
Davie County20122017
Duplin County20122012
Durham County20122017
Edgecombe County20122017
Forsyth County20122017
Franklin County20122012
Gaston County20122012
Gates County20122012
Graham County20122017
Granville County20122012
Greene County20122012
Guilford County20122017
Halifax County20122017
Harnett County20122017
Haywood County20122017
Henderson County20122012
Hertford County20122012
Hoke County20122012
Hyde County20122012
Iredell County20122012
Jackson County20122017
Johnston County20122017
Jones County20122012
Lee County20122017
Lenoir County20122017
Lincoln County20122017
Macon County20122017
Madison County20122012
Martin County20122012
McDowell County20122012
Mecklenburg County20122012
Mitchell County20122012
Montgomery County20122017
Moore County20122017
Nash County20122017
New Hanover County20122017
Northampton County20122017
Onslow County20122012
Orange County20122017
Pamlico County20122012
Pasquotank County20122012
Pender County20122017
Perquimans County20122012
Person County20122012
Pitt County20122012
Polk County20122012
Randolph County20122017
Richmond County20122012
Robeson County20122012
Rockingham County20122017
Rowan County20122012
Rutherford County20122012
Sampson County20122012
Scotland County20122012
Stanly County20122012
Stokes County20122017
Surry County20122017
Swain County20122017
Transylvania County20122012
Tyrrell County20122012
Union County20122012
Vance County20122012
Wake County20122017
Warren County20122012
Washington County20122012
Watauga County20122012
Wayne County20122012
Wilkes County20122012
Wilson County20122017
Yadkin County20122017
Yancey County20122012

Click here to view the 2012 infographics.

Click here to view the 2017 infographics.

As decision makers consider policies, programs and practices to support the agriculture sector there are numerous examples and supporting reports providing guidance:

NCSU / Center for Environmental Farming Systems / NC State Extension Local Food
Local Government Guide to Developing Local Food Economies

The NC 10% Campaign Initiative

NC Local Food


The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments, and Choices

For up to date information on this project go to

This material is based upon work supported by NC State Extension Local Foods Program, NC State Extension FarmLink, and the EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems Project of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems.


* Net Cash Farm Income of the Operations and Producers: 2017 and 2012

N.C. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status.NC State and N.C. A&T State universities, U.S. Department of Agriculture and local governments cooperating. This material was produced with funding from the NC Cooperative Extension Local Food Program.