IT SHOULDN’T come as a surprise to you that agriculture is counted among the top economic drivers in our great state of Florida. If it does, then the information I’m about to share is all the more important for you to read. The agriculture industry is a multibillion-dollar trade, supporting jobs for many of our residents across all of its 67 counties. But what kind of significance does it have right here where we live? I can tell you that it has an impact on our everyday lives. But how, and in what ways? These questions cannot be significantly answered in a few paragraphs, but the answers are about to be revealed to us.
The results from the 2015 Polk Agriculture Economic Impact Study are about to be unveiled at the Agriculture Economic Summit on February 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Lake Eva Banquet Hall in Haines City. According to the Polk County Farm Bureau (PCFB), specific data parameters of the study will include the following:
Data for Polk County from the 2012 and 2007 Census of Agriculture on crop and livestock production volume and value, number of farms, acreage, inventory, assets, operator demographics, etc.; Data on economic multipliers, direct output, employment and domestic/international exports, for approximately 100 pertinent industry sectors classified in industry groups for agricultural commodity production, agricultural inputs and services, mining, food processing/manufacturing, forest product manufacturing, and food distribution; Estimates on economic impacts for all pertinent sectors, including indirect/induced multiplier effects for supply chain activity and employee income respending. Impacts will be reported for employment (full and part-time), industry output (revenue), value added (GDP), employee compensation, labor income, property income, and indirect business taxes; demonstrate trends in economic activity over time; and analyze share of total regional economic activity attributed to agriculture, natural resources, and related food industry sectors.
PCFB’s partners in the Economic Impact Study and summit event include CenterState Bank, The Central Florida Development Council, The Mosaic Company, Ben Hill Griffin, Inc., Dundee Citrus Growers Association, Warner University, and Florida Farm Bureau. To attend the summit event on February 26, or to access the results of the study after the unveiling, contact Polk County Farm Bureau at (863) 533-0561 or visit www.pcfb.org.
column by CELESTE JO WALLS
Celeste Jo Walls is managing editor of Central Florida Ag News. She may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.