The Indiana Soybean Alliance says a new study suggests Indiana communities should consider animal agriculture when forming economic development strategies. The study from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business shows operations such as poultry, dairy and hog producers have high multipliers, resulting in additional jobs and sales in other industries.

The study cites Indiana’s existing strength in animal agriculture. It says, as of the 2012 census, the state housed nearly 21,200 animal agriculture operations generating a total of nearly $3.7 billion in sales. In all, the latest  USDA Census of Agriculture ranked Indiana among the nation’s top 10 agricultural states with $11.2 billion in sales.

Indiana Soybean Alliance Chairman Tom Griffiths says the state’s soybean farmers stand to gain from expanded animal agriculture operations as well. "Indiana’s hogs, cattle and poultry are an Indiana soybean farmer’s best customers, consuming 95 percent of all soybean meal produced in the state each year," says Griffiths. "This study shows the livestock industry will continue to enhance and increase the value of our soybeans and will also support local communities across the state that choose to embrace the industry’s growth."

The analyzes hypothetical scenarios for new animal agriculture facilities. For example, it suggests a new hog farm with $2 million in direct sales could generate a total sales impact between $2.72 million to $3.15 million throughout the state and support dozens of new jobs.

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