Imagine if that figure was widely reported, rather than farmers getting rich from food prices?   USDA reports that total production expenses are expected to be a record-high $279.2 billion in 2008.  Consider where the vast percentage of those dollars are spent and the many benefeciaries in small towns.  Add the multiplier effect to of employee wages and it becomes obvious that agriculture is providing a stimulus that’s vital to struggling economies across the country. And, then add in property taxes paid by farmers to support roads, schools and other local infrastructure needs.  Don’t overlook the importance of agriculture’s stimulus at a local level in a down economy.  (more…)