Members of the Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI) team attended the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show during the annual Public Officials Day luncheon in Harrisburg to unveil a report created in partnership with the Temple University Fox School of Business outlining the economic impact of the agriculture industry on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The report examines the many diverse forms of agriculture produced in Pennsylvania: from crop and animal production, food and beverage processing and manufacturing, to forestry and landscaping. The report contained three purposes:
- Provide an account of the economic impact of the agriculture industry on the Commonwealth.
- Inform and create a roadmap for the industry to identify strengths and potential new opportunities.
- Provide industry and policy recommendations to help adapt to the macro trends the industry faces.
With this comprehensive analysis, it was determined that the various forms of agriculture and the 59,000 farms distributed throughout the Commonwealth produce an annual economic impact of $135.7 billion within Pennsylvania, and supports 580,000 jobs returning $27 billion in wages. When addressing the attendees of the luncheon, Governor Tom Wolf stated “I know firsthand the transformative power of agriculture. As public officials, I’m sure you see that power on display in your own communities across the state.” Gov. Wolf went on to speak about his hopes for the future, stating “I want Pennsylvania to be a place where everybody and every business can succeed, so we as a state will do what is necessary to accomplish that.” In order to accomplish this goal, the ESI team made recommendations for the future of the industry divided into six individual categories:
- Increase Branding and Market Development
- Invest in Agricultural Infrastructure
- Improve in Business and Regulatory Environment
- Invest in Workforce and Education
- Invest in Physical Infrastructure
- Support Product Diversification