Agriculture-Based Economic Development in NYS: Assessing the Inter-industry Linkages in the Agricultural and Food System
Schmit, Todd M.; Boisvert, Richard N.
Structural changes in New York’s farm and food industry continue as agricultural producers and agribusiness firms adapt to changing economic conditions and consumer preferences, and to technological advancements. To retain or grow their share of the consumer food dollar, agricultural producers and agribusinesses continually seek innovative methods to expand existing markets and to develop new markets for their commodities and products. Many farm growers may also increase their bottom line by diversifying into high-valued specialty crops, vertically integrating their operations, developing branded products, or cooperating with other industry partners to improve access to consumer markets. Other farm operators continue to blend commodity production with employment off the farm or in alternate business pursuits to meet family income and lifestyle objectives. These various initiatives underscore the importance of expanding farm-to-food activities on the farm, as well as fostering greater interaction with the agribusiness industry. In order to define appropriate firm, industry, and public policy strategies to strengthen opportunities for economic development and improve the competitiveness of New York State's agribusiness industry, we must first identify and understand the linkages among agricultural production, service, manufacturing, distribution and consumer markets (both domestic and abroad).