Monterey County Farm Bureau

CA Ag Economy

The Monterey County economy is built around a $4.25 billion dollar agricultural sector and a $2.4 billion dollar tourism sector.  The farm, food manufacturing and leisure/hospitality industries account for almost half of all jobs in Monterey County.

Agriculture represents 15% more of Monterey County’s economic output than it does for the whole United States economy.  Monterey County's agriculture sector is among the most productive in the world.

Total economic impacts of the Agricultural production in Monterey is estimated at over $8.1 billion when allied businesses, employee paychecks, and value-added processing are tallied.

Relative Agricultural Productivity

Average Agricultural Output per Employee

Monterey County


United States


(Monterey County: DRI-WEFA; US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

California Agriculture's Impact on the Economy

California leads the nation in food production, a position it has held since the end of World War II.  In 2016 (the most recent year that full statistics are available) California farmers and ranchers sold agricultural products with an on-farm value of $45.3 billion.

Although agriculture remains a strong contributor to the state's economy, the record revenues for California farms and ranches were accompanied by record production costs.  At the same time as California agricultural revenue declined by 4% in 2016, production expenses expanded more than 10%.

Nearly 2.5 million jobs in California are linked to Agriculture.  These jobs go beyond the farm to include all elements of the agricultural value chain, such as irrigation, transportation, value-added processing, canning, warehousing, sales, import/export and more.

The total direct impact of agricultural value chain exceeded $340 billion in 2008 (last time this was studied).

For every dollar of value added to the agricultural production and processing sectors, there is an additional $1.56 added to the State economy.

In addtional to farms, more than 99,000 commercial establishments in California are related to agricultural production, according to the 2007 economic census.

In the Central Valley of California, jobs tied to agriculture generate 22% of private sector employment.

In Southern California, including ripple effects, the region's agricultural sectors account for about 450,000 jobs, $25 billion in labor income and $42 billion in value added to the regional economy.

The food manufacturing sector in California generated more than $96 billion in sales.  The annual earnings of food manufacturing workers in California averaged $56,860.

Approximately $20.7 billion in agricutlural products were exported  to overseas customers in 2015.   A large portion of these exports went through the Port of Oakland, which supports more than 73,000 jobs in the Bay area and nearly 827,000 jobs across the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the agricultural sector is the nation's largest user of freight transportation services, accounting for 31% of all ton-miles transported in the country during 2007.