Forbes Names Decatur Second for Thriving Farm Economy

In the past year Macon County has begun to feel a momentum of growth and prosperity. We are wearing our pride on our sleeves as we are again recognized for our growing economy and career opportunities. As a community that found its roots in agriculture, it is only appropriate that Macon County is being nationally recognized for its thriving farm economy.

Forbes names Decatur second place for a thriving agriculture economy. In “The Uncelebrated Places Where America’s Farm Economy Is Thriving,” writer Joel Kotkin stresses the overall importance of America’s agriculture sector, its stance as the country’s oldest economic pillar and that today’s industry goes beyond the fields to include a vital network of factories, laboratories, and distribution.

“For 2013, the USDA estimated that agricultural exports supported about 1.1 million full-time private-sector jobs, which included 793,900 off the farm (in the food processing industry, the trade and transportation sector and in other supporting industries),” according to the Forbes article. The average agribusiness worker in Decatur earns three times the amount of income compared to their counterparts in top ranked Madera, California. Local workers average $85,900 a year.

“It is exciting to see that the agriculture industry is getting the respect it has always deserved,” says Ryan McCrady, President of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County. “Decatur and Macon County are well positioned with support services to help businesses access the globe in an effective, efficient and reliable manner. Our rich history in manufacturing and agriculture fit together seamlessly, so we are pleased but not surprised to receive this prestigious recognition.”

The article also displays notable growth statistics for Decatur’s agribusiness industry:

  • Agribusiness Job Growth, 2004-14: 7.7%
  • Agribusiness Jobs, 2014: 5,768
  • Share Of Total Jobs In Area: 4.4%
  • Average Annual Wages: $85,907
  • Wage Increase, 2004-14: 13.8%

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