2012 Infographics/County Ag Profiles

Councils of Government Interactive Map

Click on a county to get more information and a link to the county agricultural infographic.

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Agriculture as Economic Development

(Download Discussion Points for the County & Regional Agricultural Profiles here.)
Agriculture is one of North Carolina’s top industries, bringing more than $78 billion into the state’s economy each year – that is 17% of the state’s income! Over 16% of the state’s workforce is employed in the agribusiness sector, and the state ranks 8th in the nation for agricultural cash receipts.1 NC farms and agribusinesses are meeting the demand for food and food products by producing over 80 different commodities.2

These Local Food and Farms factsheets are designed for economic developers, planners, local food advocates, and community members to understand their geography’s place in the multibillion-dollar NC agricultural industry. 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 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.


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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number RD309-122/4940246 through the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.