States with the biggest agriculture industry

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April 3, 2021
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States with the biggest agriculture industry

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.

Less than 2% of the American workforce was directly employed in agriculture in the year 2000, a drastic transition from 40% a century earlier. To improve consumer’s relationships with this industry, organizations like Future Farmers of America and 4-H help to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers and fight agricultural illiteracy from youth.

Stacker ranked each U.S. state by the size of its agriculture industry. To come up with the list, we analyzed USDA data including 2018 state agricultural overview reports and commodity values from 2012 ranked by the total value of agricultural products sold.

We also took a look at the economic and environmental impact of the agriculture industry for each state, based on data from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, as well as how the industry affects residents and what aspects about that state make it ideal for agriculture.

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.

Keep reading to see where your state’s agriculture industry ranks.

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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 24,000 tons of hay in 2020, for a combined value of $8.8 million. While Alaska’s 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.

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#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)

The agriculture industry in Rhode Island has grown since the early 2000s, thanks in part to the Rhode Island Department of Agriculture's increased marketing strategies. State residents enjoy the “Get Fresh. Buy Local.” initiative promoting awareness and interest in locally sourced produce.

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#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’s agricultural industry is valued around $850 million: $479 million in direct agricultural sales and horticultural products and services; and $372 million in agricultural tourism including fairs and scenic travel. Food manufacturing—from dairy and bakery products to seafood—is valued around $4.4 billion annually.

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#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’ 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.

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#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 has a diverse selection of agricultural and aquacultural products, ranging from tobacco to clams to greenhouse and nursery items. Gov. Lamont in March 2021 announced the creation of a working group to encourage inclusion and racial diversity in the state’s agriculture industry.

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#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 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.

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#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)

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.

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#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 has an arid climate. But through the implementation of quality irrigation systems, the state produces high yields of a variety of crops. As one of the largest industries in the state, agriculture is a significant contributor to the local economy of its rural areas.

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#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. But the state’s diverse agriculture industry allows farmers there to also produce high volumes of apples, Christmas trees, emus, and honey. As the state with the most farmers markets per capita, residents benefit from the abundant, local availability of fresh agricultural products.

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#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.

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#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)

The retention of farmland is essential to New Jersey residents, as so much of the land throughout the state has been otherwise developed. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture 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.

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#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 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 more than 10,000 jobs.

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#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 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. The Wyoming Energy Authority’s State Energy Program provides a grant for energy audits for agricultural producers and rural small businesses.

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#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)

Utah 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.

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#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)

The "Maryland's Best" program helps that state’s 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. A full 96% of farms in the state are family-owned.

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#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)

New Mexico 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. The state’s climate gives it the ability to produce many different crops, allowing residents to enjoy a variety of farmers’ markets across the state.

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#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 boasts rich soil, a year-round growing season, and plenty of farmers with generations of experience. The state’s agribusiness, agriculture, and forestry industries supply more than 200,000 jobs to the state's economy.

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#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)

Forty percent of state land in Tennessee is dedicated to farmland. International trade helps boost the state's economy with $1 billion worth of raw agricultural products exports each year.

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#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.

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#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 hundreds of thousands of jobs. The state’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.

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#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)

The multitude of different departments and support industries contributing to Louisiana’s agriculture makes the industry an essential part of the state’s economy. Louisiana is a leader in sugarcane production for the U.S.

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#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.

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#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)

Ninety-eight percent of the farms in Oregon are family-owned, and there are more than 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.

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#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)

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. The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, begun in 2000, is responsible for distributing half of state monies from the Master Settlement Agreement for agricultural development.

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#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)

Close to 7 million acres of farmland throughout New York help to feed the 19 million consumers living in-state as well as people around the country and world. Despite a shorter growing season than states further south, rich soil and steady rainfall make for bumper crops of cabbage, corn, and soybeans.

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#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)

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 almost evrey county in the state, the economic impact of the industry is huge, accounting for hundreds of thousands of jobs.

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#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)

Agriculture employs 29% of the Mississippi’s workforce, directly and indirectly. Despite the devastating economic effects of COVID-19, Mississippi farmers generated around $7.35 billion in agricultural value in 2020, up 5% from 2019.

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#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 has been branching out from commodities like 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.

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#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)

In March 2021, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced $157,735 in state funds for projects designed to increase consumer awareness of hemp and hemp products in Pennsylvania. The funding was expected to also grow market opportunities for hemp farmers and processors there.

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#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. The state’s hot climate and year-round growing season allow for high fruit production, providing jobs and economic growth for the whole state.

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#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.

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#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. The wide variety of different crops grown throughout the state (144 according to the state's department of agriculture) means Idaho residents can diverse food choices at farmers markets, local grocery stores, and restaurants.

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#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’s food and agriculture industry employs almost 1 million people. The state’s wine grape and hops acreage has been growing in recent years; the 2020 Michigan Grape and Hop Inventory found 325 additional acres allocated for grapes since 2016.

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#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)

The western region of Washington 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.

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#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.

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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 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.

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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 farmers are 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. The state’s farm bureau in 2021 partnered with Arkansas PBS on a monthly series that takes a close look at agribusiness and rural life in the state.

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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’s Department of Agriculture hosts preservation programs that seek to protect and preserve farmland for future generations. The state marketing program for agriculture, “Ohio Proud,” helps promote Ohio-grown food and helps consumers find locally grown products and companies.

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#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)

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.

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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 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.

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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)

Indiana is part of the corn belt region and boasts rich soil full of organic materials and nitrogen. The agriculture industry employs around 100,000 workers directly. For every dollar in wages and income from farm, food, and forest workers, two and a half times that goes into the local economy.

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#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)

Wisconsin is known throughout the country for its cheese and dairy products. The state’s cheesemakers produce some of the best in the United States and benefit the local economy due to high demand.

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#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)

More than 1,600 farms throughout North Carolina 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.

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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)

Illinois boasts some of the world's most fertile and diverse soil. 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 meatpacking.

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#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)

Kansas benefits from its placement inside the fertile soil of the corn belt. One in five Kansas citizens are employed in jobs related to either agriculture and food production.

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#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’s department of agriculture provides services directly to Minnesota's farmers, including education in risk management and support in organic and sustainable farming techniques.

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#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)

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 on and involved in the state's agricultural industry. State legislature in 2021 advanced a bill seeking to increase direct sales between meat farmers and consumers.

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#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)

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.

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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)

Iowa is the largest corn-producing state in the corn belt. 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 more than 200 farmers’ markets throughout Iowa providing fresh local food to its residents.

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#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’s agricultural industry has thrived for the past 50 years thanks to the blending of old and new techniques by California farmers and ranchers, according to the state's department of agriculture. In Northern California, many farmers are switching to regenerative agriculture practices that use less water and rely on a holistic, natural approach to growing plants while nourishing the soil at the same time.

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