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New Report Shows Cattle Industry is a Significant Part of the Local Economy in Urban Areas like Orlando

The county ranks in the top ten for cattle jobs and revenue. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons
The county ranks in the top ten for cattle jobs and revenue. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The cattle industry brings in hundreds of millions of dollars to Orange County, according to a report released today by the University of Florida. The county ranks in the top 10 for cattle jobs and revenue.

The report found more than 5,700 people in Orange County were employed in the cattle industry in 2017 and those jobs produced more than $860 million in revenue.

Lead author Alan Hodges says that means urban areas like Orange competed with more rural ones like Polk and Okeechobee when it comes to the local economic impact of the cattle industry. Hodges says that’s because rural areas grow the cattle but then:

"All those beef and dairy products get moved to the urban centers for processing and value-added manufacturing. And in the case of Orange County in particular it has a very large dairy manufacturing sector."

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Hodges says the goal of the report is to show that even in more urban areas of the state: 

“Those areas and their legislatures all have a stake in this industry too. And they need to be cognizant of policies that will continue to support the cattle industry.”

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In 2017, Florida exported more than $1 billion dollars in meat and dairy products to other countries. To read the full report click the followinglink.
If you'd like to listen to full story, please click on the clip above.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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