Livestock and poultry industries are in “a state of flux,” according to a report conducted by Promar International for the United Soybean Board. Globalization, trade liberalization, and environmental regulation have increased competitive pressures on the farmers and ranchers that supply meat, milk, eggs, and other animal products.  Awareness of animal welfare and food safety issues is growing among consumers, but not necessarily accompanied by knowledge of modern animal agriculture production methods, the report noted.

In 2010, animal agriculture including broilers, beef cattle, hogs, turkey, eggs, sheep, dairy, and aquaculture, had the following positive economic impact on the U.S. economy:

  • $289 billion:  Impact on total output in the economy
  • 1,853,013:  Job impact throughout the economy
  • $51 billion:  Impact on household incomes
  • $13 billion:  Impact on income taxes paid
  • $6 billion:  Impact on property taxes paid

The increased value of animal agriculture production between 2000 and 2010 resulted in a boost of over $22 billion in total national economic output.  This growth increased household incomes by almost $4 billion and created nearly 129,000 jobs, which is especially important considering that the national economy lost about 1,000,000 jobs over the same period, the study found.

Domestic animal agriculture is by far the major source of demand for U.S. soybean meal, and future soybean demand is tightly linked to the health of those industries.  In 2010, animals consumed 30 million tons of soybean meal.  This usage was the principal driver of soybean processing, which also produces the soybean oil that is essential for the U.S. food industry.  Actions to maintain and expand animal agriculture in the United States by supporting its long-term competitiveness are critical importance to the soybean sector, the United Soybean Board report explained.

To view/download the report, Animal Agriculture Economic Analysis: 200-2010, go to