Idaho's 2012 Agricultural Exports Set Record


By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Agricultural exports in the Gem State continue to set records.

Idaho exported billions of dollars in products last year seeing a significant increase from the year before.

Dairy is the top export in the state, but the impacts of agricultural growth are far reaching.

Cheese is among the many exports coming from the Magic Valley.

"Last year, we exported about 66 million pounds of cheese and this year we're on track to export around 90 million pounds. Cheese produced in the U.S. is less expensive than cheese produced on the world market. And, then the other thing is we're making more of a conscious effort to serve those customers in the foreign markets," said Jeffrey Williams, CEO, Glanbia.

Glanbia is just one of the major contributors to the state's dairy industry.

After setting records in 2011, Idaho's agricultural exports increased again last year.

The 2.2 billion dollar industry saw gains of 10.5 percent.

Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and South Korea are the state's top export markets.

"Mexico being our biggest market basically because of its proximity to the U.S," said Williams.

As the state's agricultural exports continue to soar, so do sales for one local business.

"Our sales as a company have gone up by about thirty percent over the last two years," said Clint Schnoor, Vice President, Agri-Service.

That's well above the region's average of a roughly ten percent increase in tractor sales.

The company's success is directly correlated to growth within the industry as a whole.

"High commodity prices, good demand, good exports into other countries just has created a marketplace in the U.S. to sell a lot of equipment," said Schnoor.

Equipment and exports like cheese remain a vital part of Idaho's economy.

The state's other top exports are vegetable products including: peas, lentils, beans and seed.

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