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Ag contributed $2.5 billion to Wyoming’s economy in 2021

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

A new publication by the University of Wyoming (UW) Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics reports economic activity related to agricultural production contributed $2.526 billion to Wyoming’s economy in 2021.

This total includes direct farm-gate sales from 11 agricultural industries, as well as related business-to-business purchases and spending by agricultural households.

“Everyone recognizes agriculture is big in Wyoming. Now, we have a single publication which allows us to support our comments concerning the importance of ag in Wyoming with economic data,” says Eric Webster, director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station. 

“I am extremely happy the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station was able to provide funding to support this project, which highlights the importance of agriculture across the state,” Webster continues.

Report details

Roger Coupal, a professor in the UW Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, and UW Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics Research Scientist Amy Nagler co-authored the report, which presents both statewide and county-specific data.

Analysis was completed using IMPLAN economic impact modeling software and the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and U.S. Census Bureau.

Unsurprisingly, Coupal and Nagler found cattle, other livestock – including sheep and hogs – and hay production dominated Wyoming’s agricultural production values. 

In 2021, beef cattle ranching accounted for $1.031 billion in direct output, nearly 60 percent of total direct output from agricultural industries.

Livestock production

Overall, livestock production accounted for 77 percent of Wyoming’s direct economic output from agricultural industries and crop production made up the remaining 23 percent. In total, agricultural production contributed $1.712 billion to the state’s economy in direct farm-gate sales.

Coupal and Nagler also quantified the economic impact of the dollars spent and re-spent in local communities as a result of farm-gate sales. 

In 2021, for every dollar generated by agricultural production, local purchases supporting agricultural businesses generated an additional 28 cents. Local spending by agricultural industry and ag supply-chain workers generated an additional 20 cents.

In total, business-to-business ag supply chain purchases, such as feed and fencing, contributed an additional $476 million to the state’s economy. Household spending of agricultural industry labor income in local restaurants, retail stores and other establishments added another $338 million.

“This report from Coupal and Nagler clearly shows the importance of agriculture to the economy of Wyoming and the vibrancy of rural economies anchored by our ranching families,” states Barbara Rasco, former dean of the UW College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources.

Brooke Ortel is a writer and editor for UW Extension. This article was originally published by UW on Dec. 28.

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