Checkoff Report Shows Benefits of Animal Agriculture

Livestock and poultry are number one consumers of soymeal, but that industry is undergoing big changes.

To continue building ongoing demand for soybeans, the United Soybean Board recently used soybean checkoff funds to conduct an economic analysis of the livestock industry – the U.S. soybean farmer's top customer. This study was done to first highlight the economic value of this industry and then to further demonstrate the importance of this industry to the U.S. soybean farmer.

As relocation of the animal agriculture industry is a concern, "The Nationwide Economic Impact of Animal Agriculture" shows the economic contribution the livestock industry gives to a state through tax revenues, employment, earnings and output. This study not only breaks down the economic value of the livestock industry to U.S. soybean farmers, but also to each state and the country.

Animal agriculture has large local impact

"This analysis shows the economic impact the animal agriculture industry has on rural communities," says Laura Foell a soybean farmer from Schaller in northwest Iowa, and a farmer-leader on the United Soybean Board. "It's an important tool to help get the facts out about the economic benefits this industry offers to local communities and states in addition to U.S. soybean farmers."

For example, overall the animal agriculture industry employs more than 3.3 million people nationally. In 35 states this industry provides at least 10,000 jobs, and in two states more than 100,000 people are employed in animal agriculture. In fact, in Texas over 200,000 people work in this industry.

This report is a unique tool because it is the first time this type of information on all 50 states has been made available in the same publication. The information gives a breakdown on each livestock category and state along with the estimated soy consumption of each species by state. Information such as this demonstrates the interdependency between the soybean and livestock industries. Market trends that have an effect on the livestock industry are also discussed.

Without livestock, soymeal would be less valuable

"Livestock and poultry are the No.1 consumers of soybean meal," adds Foell. "Without these industries, a large amount of soybeans would be underutilized, making the soybean less valuable to the producer."
This economic analysis was compiled by Promar International Inc. with information from 1997 to 2006. For information on the animal agriculture industry, visit

USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

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