Do you live in an “agriculture state”?

And (while we’re on the subject) another thing about Iowa…

Is it really a farm state? Is any state really a farm state?

Fun fact: Agriculture provides 3 percent of Iowa’s gross domestic product. (Manufacturing provides 21 percent.)

Last week, when the president appointed Ed Schafer of North Dakota as the new Secretary of Agriculture, Schafer said: “Mr. President, I come from an agriculture state, as do you.” (Tx Eliz.)

According to the BEA, agriculture is 6 percent of North Dakota’s economy, and 0.8 percent of Texas’s.

In India, the figure is 17.5 percent. In China, it’s 12 percent. Democratic Republic of Congo, 55 percent.

All this (along with news of our evaporating West and the Senate’s farm bill debate this week) makes me wonder: What state does not see itself as an “agriculture state”? I’ll take a guess: Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, West Virginia and Nevada. That’s eight. If you count oceans as agriculture, we’re down to two, and if you count checkers — well, then all you’ve got is Nevada.

-posted by Mike


2 Responses to Do you live in an “agriculture state”?

  1. Mark says:

    Michigan, in general, does not consider itself to be an agricultural state. Sure, there are certainly farms in Michigan, and they even cover a reasonably large land area. However, I think that growing up, Michigan was always an industrial state to me and the people around me. Part of that might just be the particular part of the state I grew up in, but coverage of the most recent several gubernatorial races in the state seem to enforce the idea that in the minds of its residents and the policies of its politicians, industry, particular the automotive industry, dominate both the mindset and a large portion of the economy of Michigan.

  2. Mike says:

    Fair point, Mark. I would guess folks who grew up on the west side might differ, but they’re outnumbered. (Though probably not outgunned.)

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