Ag and Food Sectors and the Economy
The U.S. agriculture sector extends beyond the farm business to include a range of farm-related industries. Agriculture, food, and related industries contributed 5.4 percent to U.S. gross domestic product and provided 10.4 percent of U.S. employment; Americans' expenditures on food amount to 12.8 percent of household budgets, on average. Among Federal Government outlays on farm and food programs, nutrition assistance far outpaces other programs.
In 2021, the U.S. food and beverage manufacturing sector employed 1.7 million people, or just over 1.1 percent of all U.S. nonfarm employment. In thousands of food and beverage manufacturing plants throughout the country, these employees were engaged in transforming raw agricultural materials into products for intermediate or final consumption. Meat and poultry plants employed the largest percentage of food and beverage manufacturing workers, followed by bakeries and beverage plants.