Wisconsin businesses produce a lot of things – heavy-armor military vehicles, fire trucks, paper, electronic components and too many more to mention – but one area that sometimes gets missed is agriculture.
Failing to note that industry is a big mistake. For the first nine months of 2010, agricultural products from Wisconsin headed to more than 150 countries, generating $1.71 billion worth of exports. Almost all of Wisconsin’s export markets and product categories saw double-digit growth, according to the latest stats from Gov. Jim Doyle’s office.
The export category that includes grains such as corn, barley and rice was the fastest growing category, gaining 118 percent to reach $316 million through September. The category for dairy, eggs and honey followed, gaining 46 percent to reach $161 million. And ingredients, sauces, yeasts and mustards drove miscellaneous food exports up by 18 percent to reach $149 million.
Another item to note from the state report – 1 in 10 jobs in Wisconsin is related to agriculture. With those numbers in mind, it’s imperative to remember the essential role agriculture plays in the state’s economy.