UACES Facebook 2021 Arkansas Agriculture Profile offers comprehensive look at ag’s role in state economy
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2021 Arkansas Agriculture Profile offers comprehensive look at ag’s role in state economy

The Arkansas Agriculture Profile is a reference guide to ag's contribution to the economy.

Dec. 3, 2021

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:

  • Arkansas Ag Profile offers industry economic insights
  • Agriculture has $19.4 impact on Arkansas economy

(415 words)
(Newsrooms: Image cover, head shots of Popp and English)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Agriculture in Arkansas continues to maintain a position of strength, contributing more than $19 billion to the economy, said Jennie Popp, co-author of the Arkansas Agriculture Profile, a publication that highlights the industry’s economic contributions.

The 2021 edition is the latest in a series co-written by Popp, associate dean of the Honors College of the University of Arkansas, and Leah English, technical assistant in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Jennie Popp, left, and Leah English, right
AUTHORS  — Jennie Popp, left, and Leah English, right, are co-authors of the Arkansas Agriculture Profile. (U of A System Division of Agriculture image)

Popp said that agriculture’s continued dominance in Arkansas’ economy sets it apart from many other states.

“Throughout the nation, where much of the farmland is being converted into other uses, agriculture’s importance in many states’ economy is diminishing,” Popp said. “In Arkansas, however, agriculture comprises a bigger share of the economy than it does in any other state in the South, or even the average of other states in the United States.”

Industry reference
Over the years, the Arkansas Agriculture Profile has become a reference for policymakers, media and the agriculture industry for its comprehensive analysis and easy-to-digest format. The pocket-sized book also emphasizes work done toward agricultural and rural sustainability by the Division of Agriculture.

Readers are able “to quickly access the most recent ag sector statistics for Arkansas.,” English said. “They can also find production and value data for the top commodities produced across the state and see how Arkansas ranks nationally across commodities.”

Popp said that almost half — 49.7 percent — of contributions generated by agriculture are in areas outside of agriculture, including fishing and hunting and real estate rental and leasing.

“By highlighting these contributions annually, we help others to understand agriculture’s importance, hopefully leading to policies and practices that support agricultural production, agricultural industries and broad-based agricultural research and education throughout the state,” she said.  

$19.4 billion impact
English said that in addition to contributions generated by the direct sale of agricultural goods, “the impacts of agriculture touch all areas of the economy. 

“These far-reaching impacts can be recognized through the large indirect and induced contributions that are generated through ripple effects stemming from economic activity with the agriculture sector,” she said.

“Direct effects from the ag sector represent 7.3 percent of total value added across the state, with ag sector purchasing activity and the spending of ag wages and salaries within the state contributing an additional 3.8 percent and 3.5 percent to the total state value added, respectively,” English said.

“The result is a total economic contribution of $19.4 billion, which represents 14.6 percent of total value added to the state economy,” she said.

The book can be downloaded

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit

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About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media contact: Mary Hightower