NATIONAL AG DAY
Western Ranch Brokers is happy to recognize National Ag Day 2022! Founded in 1973 by the Agricultural Council of America, the day is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the abundance provided by American agriculture, often taken for granted. As Montanans and ranch enthusiasts, we have a great appreciation for the men and women who help put food on our tables, clothes on our backs and who keep our state’s economy strong.
The 2020 state agriculture overview provided by the NASS/USDA reported that agriculture brought in $4.82 billion to Montana in 2017, making it the state’s largest industry – $665.1 million in revenue greater than the next leading industry, travel. Montana is home to 26,900 farms and ranches that are generating $1,000 or more in annual sales of agricultural products annually, a total of 58.1 million acres of land. Montana has the second highest percentage of land (62%) dedicated to agriculture in the United States, topped only by Texas (74%). Agricultural products and percentage of land dedicated to farming and ranching varies by county, with the highest concentrations located in central Montana.
A variety of products make up Montana’s agricultural contribution. Although primarily known for grain and cattle, the rich terrain is ideal for a number of crops including sweet cherries, sugar beets, seed potatoes, dry peas, lentils and flax. However, cattle, alfalfa and grass hay are the top agricultural products in Montana, according to the NASDA they “account for three-fourths of the state’s agricultural cash receipts”. In 2020 the USDA’s report showed a cattle inventory of 2,500,500 head and alfalfa and grass hay production at 4,180,000 tons and 5,908,000 tons respectively.
A statewide report published by Montana State University in December 2020, using data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture reported “Grain (winter wheat, spring wheat, durum, and barley) comprised 31% of total market value, while cattle comprised 56% of total market value in 2017.”
As a state wholly invested in agriculture, National Ag day is not only a time to reflect on the contributions of the industry, but how the economy of Montana is dependent on it. Now more than ever, the agricultural industry in Montana is of global significance. It’s important to recognize the challenge our farmers and ranchers face as they try to meet the increased demand for food around the world, while navigating extreme economic and climate conditions.
Happy National Ag Day to all the hardworking Montana farmers and ranchers – thank you for all that you do for Montana and beyond.
Every ag operation starts with land. Whether you are looking to join the farmers and ranchers in Montana or to pass on your legacy to someone new, Western Ranch Brokers can help. Contact us for more information on the Montana ranch market and let us know how we can go to work for you.