Did you know that South Dakota’s number one industry is agriculture? It has been that way since the state’s inception and the industry has only continued to get stronger and more diverse.
In order to stay competitive in the global market, major investments are made and risks are taken each year as farmers work to meet the growing demands for food, feed, fuel and fiber. Farmers adapt their operations with new practices and technologies, finding ways to increase productivity and efficiency, while protecting the environment.
Those expenses and investments add up very quickly. A new report released last week from the SD Center for Farm/Ranch Management revealed just how big those ag-related expenses are in South Dakota as the average farmer faces nearly a million dollars worth of operating costs each year
Overall, the impact of agriculture in South Dakota totals over $20 billion annually, equaling 20% of the state’s entire economic activity and employing 80,000 hard-working South Dakotans.
The second largest industry in South Dakota is tourism with an annual impact of $1.95 billion.