Growth Shown in a Number of Economic Indicators in Rural Development


a farm landscape

The agroforestry industry adds $49 billion directly to Tennessee’s economy through the production of food and fiber. In the recent report to Governor Bill Haslam, UTIA researchers found that when taking into account multiplier effects, such as agricultural-related industries, the number increases to $74.8 billion, or 13 percent of Tennessee’s economy. ​ Photo courtesy UTIA. Download image.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Several faculty members from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture played an important role in the recent state economic report to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. The Economic Report to the Governor of Tennessee is an in-depth measure of how the state’s economy performed over the last year and how those economic indicators compared to recent historical trends. 

Drs. Burton English, Andrew Griffith, David Hughes, Kimberly Jensen, Robert Menard, Aaron Smith and Edward Yu, all with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, contributed to the report. Their findings showcase the vast scope of the agricultural industry and the major role it plays to enhance not only the economy, but the quality of life for all Tennesseans.

Among the findings, were a number of positive economic indicators for Tennessee’s rural economy, especially in relation to the Governor’s Rural Challenge Recommendations for Tennessee Agriculture. Positive indicators reported progress in a number or areas, including increased productivity of agricultural lands, building on farm storage capacity, growth in economic activity from farming and associated activities, and increased numbers of graduates from four-year agricultural degree and Master Producer Programs. 

Dr. Kimberly Jensen says that when rural economies do well, Tennessee’s economy benefits as well. “The impacts on rural economies include adding jobs and economic activities directly from the industries themselves, but also indirectly through purchases of input supplies and services. In addition, incomes earned by the workers in these industries allow for purchases to be made that help stimulate the local economies,” said Jensen. 

In fact, the agroforestry industry adds $49 billion directly to the state’s economy through the production of food and fiber. When taking into account multiplier effects, such as agricultural-related industries, the number increases to $74.8 billion, or 13 percent of Tennessee’s economy. Soybeans, cattle and calves, broilers, corn and cotton were among the commodity areas drawing the highest cash receipts in 2015. 

“Agroforestry is complex, ranging from input supplies and services to farming and forestry. We also need to remember that there is a processing and manufacturing component to the products consumers use in everyday living, such as food, apparel and furniture,” said Jensen. 

The economic report to the Governor was prepared by Dr. Matthew Murray and his team at the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at UT’s Haslam College of Business. You can read the entire document online at cber.haslam.utk.edu/erg/erg2017.pdf.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu.

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Contact:  

Dr. Kimberly Jensen, UTIA Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 865-074-3716, kjensen@utk.edu​



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