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      Agriculture supports more than 103,000 jobs

      An analysis done by Texas Tech University and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension shows crop production made for more than 103,000 jobs in the High Plains Region in 2010.

      According to the study, the industry also generated more than $12 billion in economic activity. The study used a five-year average of production in 41 counties, analyzing things like alfalfa, corn, cotton, and wheat.

      Texas Corn Producers Board Member Mark Howard said he feels the agricultural industry will continue to grow and provide more jobs for people, especially in the Texas Panhandle. And despite the drought, many farms are prospering.

      "This area was settled for these reasons," Howard said. "People came in the early 1900s because they saw the opportunities. They've been maintaining for over 100 years. If we lose agriculture here, we'll lose something that's irreplaceable."

      The model used for the analysis findings can also be used to measure the economic effects of energy costs and federal farm programs. The project began in April of 2010 through financial contributions from Texas commodity groups.