Agriculture is one of our region’s most important industries. There is a strong interdependency of agricultural jobs and agricultural-related jobs in non-agricultural sectors which directly affect the spending power in the region.
The “Local Food Movement” is also creating a significant impact through farmers’ markets, field to table restaurants, breweries, distilleries, cideries and wineries.
Regional agriculture industry:
- Whitman County, just south of Spokane, is the #1 wheat producing county in the US, and ranks #2 in the country for barley production.
- Spokane County has the second-highest number of farms in Washington State with over 2,500.
- Food processing in Spokane accounts for $566 million in revenue.
The Inland Northwest’s largest farm machinery show, Spokane Ag Expo, is celebrating its 40th year in 2017. Ag Expo provides the best possible marketing showcase of agricultural equipment and related products for the large scale operator to small acreage farms and ranches. More than 6,000 attendees visited the 2016 event at the Spokane Convention Center.
Statewide agricultural industry:
- The food and agriculture industry makes up 13 percent of the state’s economy.
- More than $15 billion in food and agricultural products were exported through Washington ports in 2013, the third largest total in the US.
- Washington is the leading U.S. producer of apple juice, and a leader in berry and grape juices.
- Washington is the second-largest wine producer in the U.S. with over 800 licensed wineries.
- Food processing is a $15 billion industry in Washington and employs 39,000 people.
- Major commodities processed in Washington include vegetables and fruits, dairy foods, beef and seafood products.
In Spokane County, the agriculture industry generates $117 million in annual economic impact and supports 1,576 jobs.
Contact Industry Manager Stan Key, 509.321.3640