Madison (WKOW) -- from WI Governor: Governor Jim Doyle announced Thursday that Wisconsin's agricultural exports increased by 7 percent to a record $1.5 billion during the first nine months of 2008.
"I'm really pleased that people around the world are learning the best food and livestock are produced here in Wisconsin," Governor Doyle said. "Agriculture is one of the cornerstones of our economy and Wisconsin is aggressively positioning ourselves to take advantage of this growing demand through technological upgrades and new products."
Other export highlights include:
The state's agricultural exports were driven by growing consumer demand in Canada, Mexico, Japan, China and Korea for dairy products, baking and brewing ingredients, foods and food preparations, beverages and hides.
Mexico was the key market for the export of dairy genetics and live dairy cattle.
Wisconsin ranks first for the export of dairy cattle, semen, and embryos.
Agricultural exports help the state and nation's trade balance, enable Wisconsin farmers and food and agriculture businesses to grow, and create jobs for Wisconsin citizens.
Wisconsin agricultural exports account for about 20 percent of Wisconsin farm income.
Agriculture generates $51 billion for the state annually and close to half a million jobs.