Recognizing the economic contribution agriculture brings to Arizona’s economy, Arizona Farm Bureau celebrates Labor Day noting that Arizona farms and ranches employ more than 70,000 individuals.
“Thanks to new technologies and our employees, the economic impact of Arizona agriculture has grown to a $9.2 billion industry producing food, fiber and ornamentals,” says Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers. “We are raising different crops than a generation ago and directly marketing them to the public. For example, I sell hay directly to horse owners in the Phoenix area and our vegetable producers package their products that go directly to your supermarket. Farmers are incorporating more organic and natural production methods for consumers’ increasing demand. There will also be further growth potential for Arizona agriculture in the areas of biotechnology and alternative energy production.”
But none of these advances in agriculture can go forward without labor, adds Rogers. “Labor is a mainstay in agriculture and without a solid, reliable work force Arizona agriculture would no longer exist. Despite mechanization there will be a continued need for a legal and reliable labor supply for agriculture.”
Arizona agriculture has always responded to economic signals and is a significant contributor to the state’s economic vitality. Additionally, Arizona agriculture is part of a very efficient system that produces the safest and most diversified food supply for all income levels for any developed society in the world.