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Contact: Kristie Garcia
Director of Public Affairs, New Mexico Department of Agriculture

Office: 575-646-2804
Cell: 575-339-5011

March 21, 2023

New report reveals growing footprint, influence of food, ag sector in New Mexico’s economy beating pre-pandemic levels

Feeding The Economy, an economic impact study commissioned by 25 food and agriculture groups, reveals new data on jobs, wages, economic output at district, state, national levels

Haga clic aquí para español.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Today 25 food and agriculture groups released the seventh annual Feeding the Economy report, revealing food and agriculture industries and their suppliers contribute over $8.6 trillion to the U.S. economy, nearly one-fifth of total national output and a 22% increase since the 2019 report. Providing data on jobs, wages, and economic output, this farm-to-fork analysis illustrates the food and agriculture sector’s impact on local and nationwide economic activity. The data also underscores this sector’s resilience and reliability amid unprecedented global and domestic crises, including the commodity shock following the war in Ukraine and continued supply chain disruptions.

Bunches of white grapes hang from vines
The 2023 Feeding the Economy report revealed New Mexico’s food and agriculture industry has an economic impact of $40.23 billion. According to a report by the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas, New Mexico’s grape and wine industry generates approximately $876 million in total economic activity. The 2017 Census of Agriculture lists New Mexico as having 376 grape farms, covering 1,280 acres. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

This year’s report shows the U.S. food and agriculture sector directly supports nearly 23 million jobs, provides $927 billion in wages, and is particularly vital to rural communities across America. Notably, the 2023 report reveals that the manufacturing of agricultural products accounts for nearly one-fifth of total manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Overall, more than 46 million jobs are supported across the food and agriculture supply chain, increasing nearly 2% since the 2019 report despite the economic challenges and disruptions associated with the pandemic.

Here are key findings for New Mexico:
Total jobs: 257,697​
Total wages:​ $11.52 billion
Total business taxes:​ $4.13 billion
Exports:​ $275.03 million
Total food and ag industry economic impact: $40.23 billion

“Our state’s food and agriculture industry continues to show resiliency,” said New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte. “When we sit down to eat a meal, it’s important to remember all the work it took to get that food from the farm to our plates.”

Box full of purple and white onions
The 2023 Feeding the Economy report revealed New Mexico’s food and agriculture industry has an economic impact of $40.23 billion. According to the 2021 New Mexico Agriculture Statistics Bulletin, onions are the state’s No. 4 commodity and their value of production is $128.2 million. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The strength and growth highlighted in this year’s report reinforce that agriculture is evolving and innovating to meet the demands of the 21st century. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, between 1948 and 2019, land use for agriculture decreased by 28% while land productivity grew nearly four times and labor productivity grew more than 10 times. In fact, agriculture’s total factor productivity growth rate is among the highest of U.S. sectors.

“We are still farming and ranching, despite the many challenges New Mexico farmers and ranchers have faced,” said New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau President Larry Reagan. “I am proud that agriculture is rising to the challenge of feeding, clothing and fueling our communities and world while supporting our rural economies and stewarding our natural resources.”

“It is not surprising that agriculture is a key economic driver, especially here in New Mexico,” said New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association President Loren Patterson. “Beef cattle ranches operate in every county in New Mexico. We are an innovative industry, combining science and artistry to produce not only abundant food for every fork, but precious food that inspires our culinary arts and cultural traditions. It was the first industry in our state and one which is perpetually evolving.”

Three dairy cows are eating alfalfa through a silver gate, while one dairy cow looks at the camera
The 2023 Feeding the Economy report revealed New Mexico’s food and agriculture industry has an economic impact of $40.23 billion. Dairies are an integral part of New Mexico’s agriculture industry. According to the 2021 New Mexico Agriculture Statistics Bulletin, milk is the state’s No. 1 commodity with a value of production of $1.26 billion, and New Mexico is fourth in the nation in cheese production. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

This latest report, along with additional quotes from sponsoring organizations, is available at

Sponsoring organizations include American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Frozen Food Institute, American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Corn Refiners Association, CropLife America, The Fertilizer Institute, FMI – The Food Industry Association, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, International Dairy Foods Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Grain and Feed Association, National Grocers Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Institute, Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association, SNAC International, The Sugar Association, U.S. Dairy Export Council and U.S. Grains Council. 


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