Broome Agriculture Plays Major Roll in Local Economy
Fact Sheet Details County Farms’ Impact on Region
(BINGHAMTON, NY) – As part of a nearly $5 billion industry in New York State, Broome County farms generate $150 million annually to the local economy according to new data released today by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, and the Broome County Farm Bureau.
“Agriculture is incredibly important to the state and local economy,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell). “There is enormous potential for new jobs in the growing field of agriculture production, marketing and manufacturing. Building on what is already in place, Broome County could realize significant growth in this area.”
In addition to $30.7 million in sales revenue, Broome County farms also generate more than $100 million in business investments, $2.5 million property tax revenue, and $2.7 million in labor wages; all of which help to promote continued growth of fruits, vegetables, and livestock each year.
“It’s not just the sales from food grown by farmers that benefits the economy,” said David Johnson of the Broome County Farm Bureau. “Money is spent every day to purchase feed for animals, gasoline for tractors and equipment, and electricity to run machinery. The activity our farms see truly has a ripple effect across the board.”
An emerging effort to develop local food systems is creating new opportunities for the agriculture industry in Broome County. For example, restaurants and cafeterias in the area are adding local products to their menus, providing a new avenue for consumers to receive local products; and SUNY Broome has plans for a new hospitality and culinary program which will also tie in locally produced foods.
“Buying local has had a great impact on our local economy, but it also has tremendous health benefits,” said Vicki Giarratano of Cornell Cooperative Extension. “Studies show that eating locally grown food reduces the risk for chronic disease.”
A local taskforce has also been established to build on the success of local agriculture, helping farmers find ways to become more efficient and grow the scope of their businesses. Earlier this year, farmers across the county received a survey which will help the taskforce identify barriers to the growth of local agriculture. The results from that survey will be released in the coming weeks.