In a year when Georgia's economy struggled to get back on its feet, agriculture gave local communities a much-needed boost, according to a report released by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.

The 2010 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report showed Georgia agriculture's farm gate value hit a record high $12,002,461,213 in 2010.

This huge number multiplies several fold when you factor in the Georgia industries that process, package, ship and market Georgia's agricultural output, offering an economic ladder that helped many small businesses and local communities climb out of a deep economic hole.

What impact does $12 billion have on Georgia's economy?

 Not all that money goes into the pockets of farmers. It goes to local seed companies, chemical companies, local farm workers, tractor companies, banks, fuel companies, fertilizer companies, veterinarians and more.

What does go into the farmers' pockets then goes out into the community to pay for home mortgages, cars and equipment, education, power bills, medical care, and other community-based businesses.

We've all come to know that an economy can't be solely based on services. Somebody has to actually produce something that has value. That's exactly what Georgia agriculture does. It produces more than $12 billion worth of value and pumps it into our economy.