U.S. poultry and livestock farmers provide more than just meat, milk, eggs and other food, they also produce jobs, generate property tax revenues and contribute to household incomes. U.S. poultry and livestock also consume about 98 percent of the domestically used soybean meal, making them the number one customer for U.S. soybean farmers.

The United Soybean Board (USB) and the soybean checkoff strongly support their number one customer. To provide soybean farmers with information on the value of poultry and livestock to the economy, USB funded an independent examination of the most recent annual data available.

Findings show that poultry and livestock produced 1.8 million jobs, and contributed $252 billion in U.S. gross domestic production on an annual basis. Livestock and poultry also contributed $41 billion to U.S. household incomes, increasing income by $3 billion over the past 10 years, according to the study.

“It is important for our communities and community leaders to know the value of animal agriculture,” says Jim Schriver, a soybean farmer from Montpelier, Ind., and chair of USB’s Domestic Marketing program. “This sector of our economy not only produces the food we eat, but represents profit and job centers that support the communities in which we live.”

The 32-page report breaks down a range of data by state, including measurements for poultry and livestock production and value, economic impact, characteristics of farm operations and operators, input purchases, agricultural and economic censuses, taxation and computation of meal use by poultry and livestock.

The checkoff-sponsored report describes issues of concern that consistently emerged during data collection across a number of states. These issues range from opposition campaigns to incorrect assumptions about its impact on the environment. Here are a few of the issues addressed in the report:

• Raw milk legislation

• Animal welfare legislation

• “Locavore” driven demand for small-scale, local processing

• Action on climate change/ pollution

• Illegal immigration/ labor issues

To read the full report highlighting the economic contributions of poultry and livestock, click here. To learn more about soybean farmers’ number one customers, visit www.BeyondtheElevator.com.

USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.