Monterey County Farm Bureau

Economic Contributions

Monterey County agriculture pumps $8.12 billion into the local economy and supports more than 76,000 jobs, Agricultural Commissioner Eric Lauritzen announced as he released an updated report of a comprehensive economic analysis of the county’s leading industry on June 30, 2015.

Former Ag Commissioner Lauritzen opens the report with the following statement:

After more than 80 years of publishing traditional Crop Reports, we published a new kind of report in April 2012. Instead of merely looking at crop production values and acreage, we quantified agriculture’s total economic contribution through food production, local food processing, employment and economic “multiplier effects.” In short, we asked the question “What role does agriculture play in sustaining a healthy local economy?”

The response to our report was overwhelming. Within Monterey County, policy makers, the public and others saw the clearest picture yet of agriculture’s economic role. Outside the county, the idea spread along the Central Coast with four other counties quickly commissioning similar studies. Section 2279 of the California Food and Agriculture Code requires all county agricultural commissioners to report the “value” of agriculture. This typically occurs each year via the required Crop Report. Thanks to twenty-first century economic tools we are providing this report to highlight agriculture’s greater value to our community.

I am pleased to share Economic Contributions of Monterey County Agriculture: Leading the Field through
Diversity and Technology. This updates our 2012 report while also highlighting the special economic roles that diversity and technology play. This report demonstrates that agriculture generates $8.1 billion annually to the local economy.  It highlights the comprehensive economic contribution agriculture makes, informing various stakeholders such as our board of supervisors, supporting industry and the general public on the importance of the agricultural industry in sustaining this region’s economy. The continued emergence of technological innovations chronicled in this report highlights the ongoing vibrancy of the agricultural industry as a whole.

Highlights of the report include:


  • With $5.7 billion in direct economic output, agriculture was the county’s largest economic sector at 18.5% of total economic output. An additional $2.4 billion is spent by agriculture companies and their employees.
  • Agriculture was directly responsible for 55,702 jobs -- about one job in every four in Monterey County.
  • An additional 20,352 jobs are made possible by expenditures by agricultural companies and their employees.
  • Agritultural diversity provides critical economic stability, both within the Ag sector and to the wider county economy.
  • With investments in new technologies, future economic prosperity and sustainability will ensure success of the agricultural sector as it competes on the world market.
  • Monterey County Agricutlure pumps nearly $1 million into the local economy each hour of every day.


The report, “Economic Contributions of Monterey County Agriculture: Leading the Field through Diversity and Technology”, was released on June 30, 2015 at a media briefing held in Salinas.  Drs. Langholz and DePaolis, of Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, presented their findings to the news media and representatives of business and agriculture. They included: Jim Bogart, President and General Counsel, Grower-Shipper Association; Norm Groot, Executive Director, Monterey County Farm Bureau; Kim Stemler, Executive Director, Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association; and Carolyn O'Donnel, Commiunications Director, California Strawberry Commission.

Lauritzen also noted that the report showcases on-going technology links between the Ag sector and  Silicon Valley, academia, finance, and public entities, highlghted by the Forbes Reinventing America Ag Tech Summit coming to the Salinas Valley in early July 2015.

"Economic Contributions of Monterey County Agriculture: Leading the Field through Diversity and Technology" can be downloaded here.