Study Finds Ag Cluster has $2.3 Billion Annual Economic Impact in Fayette County
Agricultural Impact Study On Fayette County Economy Released By UK College Of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
A new study was released yesterday that underscores the vital role agriculture plays in Fayette County’s economy. It updates the findings of the 2012 landmark study “The Influence of the Agricultural Cluster on the Fayette County Economy.”
The study shows the ag cluster in Fayette County accounts for $2.3 billion in annual economic activity. Furthermore, one out of every 12 jobs is directly or indirectly attributable to the ag cluster, resulting in $8.5 million to the local tax base. The ag cluster generates an additional $1.3 billion in income, profits and dividends.
Authored by University of Kentucky Professor of Agricultural Economics Alison Davis, the extensive study explores the many changes within the ag cluster beyond production agriculture. This includes adding the impact of service-based industries that support the ag cluster as well as wholesale and retail businesses that are 100% dedicated to agriculture.
“The contribution of the agriculture industry to Fayette County is unquestioned. This is seen not only in traditional ag output, but also we are seeing tremendous growth in tourism tied to the ag cluster, such as Keeneland, Horse Country, breweries, wineries and more,” said Davis, director of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
The study was commissioned by Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, Fayette County Farm Bureau and Fayette Alliance.
“The land and people of Central Kentucky have spent over one hundred years creating the most valuable horse industry in the world, with Lexington and Fayette County as its heart,” commented Chauncey Morris, executive director of Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders. “We are grateful the facts show the economic contribution the horse has made to our community.”
Carrie McIntosh, executive director of the Fayette County Farm Bureau stated, “Our rolling Bluegrass farmland, plank fences and historic barns are what draw companies and professionals here to work and live, experiencing a quality of life that no other city has to offer. It is important that we recognize the centrality of agricultural to our economy and protect our signature agricultural industries to continue to attract businesses and professionals to our community.”
“Our prime soils and Bluegrass farmland are the ‘factory floor’ of our strong, signature agricultural industries. Sustainable growth and innovative land use planning are essential to preserving and promoting our world-class agricultural brand, industries and landscape, which are pillars of our diverse economy and quality of life,” said Susan Speckert, executive director of Fayette Alliance.
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