Agriculture and Food Manufacturing Sector

Harvest time in the Palouse

Washington is a leading producer of numerous fruit and vegetable crops, making our state a key supplier of food for domestic and export markets. Our growers feed people across the U.S. and around the world. The agriculture and food manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of Washington’s economy in both rural communities and metropolitan areas.

Agriculture is woven into the fabric of Washington State’s heritage and has been an important part of our culture since the earliest days of territorial settlement. Farmers and ranchers provide environmental stewardship that supports 15 million acres of the state’s lands.

Washington State's agriculture and food manufacturing sector

Washington's 35,900 farms power a diverse agricultural economy, led by the state's apple industry that accounts for 70 percent of U.S. production. In addition to Washington’s top four commodities – apples, wheat, milk and potatoes – the Evergreen State is a major producer of hops, stone fruits, farm forest products, fish, shellfish, onions and mint oils.

We’re also home to a large food processing industry that supports many supply and marketing services in machinery, pesticides and fertilizers, transportation, packaging, and more. The quality and safety of Washington’s agricultural products continue to raise the state’s reputation around the world.

  • The state's $17 billion food and agriculture industry employs approximately 140,000 people. Thirteen percent of the state’s economy comes from agriculture.
  • Agriculture generates income and employment on farms in all 39 counties. The industry is an economic pillar of many rural communities.
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    Governor Inslee’s goals to grow the agriculture sector include:

    • Harness emerging opportunities: organic, sustainable and local; food security; bio-digesters; climate change; multi-year farm bills passed by Congress.
    • Enable more efficient movement of time-sensitive agricultural goods through policy actions and infrastructure development.
    • Eliminate regulatory barriers.
    • Protect and manage scarce resources: land, water, energy, labor, capital and credit.
    • Strengthen support services: transportation, technology, education and marketing.

    Are you interested in business opportunities in the Agriculture & Food Manufacturing sector? Visit ChooseWashington.com to learn more.

    Key Sectors

    Sector Resources

    More Information

    For more information contact:

    Ignacio Marquez
    Gov. Inslee's Agriculture Sector Lead
    imarquez@agr.wa.gov
    Phone: 509-249-6970

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