AUSTIN, Texas — Agriculture-related products like tractors, hoes, and equipment have become an integral part of Texas’ food delivery system, and it’s one that’s getting a boost from the state’s newly expanded agricultural tech market.
The state’s agricultural tech sector grew by more than 8,500 jobs last year, according to the Texas Agricultural Technology Association.
And the industry’s presence in Texas is growing, according the group’s president, Scott Hargrove.
“It’s not just the number of jobs that we’re seeing,” Hargreaves said.
More than 1,100 firms are now in the agricultural tech business in Texas, the association said.
The Texas market is also home to more than $30 billion in agricultural and farm products.
Agribusiness firms are building equipment and other products to deliver agricultural products to customers, and the industry has expanded in Texas by more people than any other state, according.
Texas is the nation’s largest food delivery market, with a population of about 5.3 million.
About half of all Texas residents, or about 1.8 million, are in the food delivery industry.
Hargreyves said the growth in the industry, which grew from 1,000 employees to 4,000 last year , is due to a combination of factors including the increased availability of high-tech equipment and tools and the state becoming a center for the development of agricultural technology.
Hargreves said Texas is the only state in the country where the agricultural industry’s growth is greater than the growth of its overall population.
Tractors, which are typically made from wood, are one type of agricultural product that has been popular in Texas.
In addition to tractors and hoes and equipment, agricultural tech companies are building mobile processing and delivery systems to deliver products like vegetables and meat.
There are about 1,500 agricultural tech firms operating in Texas right now, according Hargreeves.
The number of firms is increasing, Hargraves said.
“The industry is getting more and more popular,” Haggreaves told ABC News.
A growing number of companies are working on new products for the agricultural and food service industries, like food-grade paper, paper bags and other goods that are reusable and can be reused, according in the association’s 2017 Annual Report.
Haggreyves has been involved in agriculture technology for years and said the industry is one that he hopes will expand in the future.
“There’s a lot of potential in this space for us to be able to do things like bring more value to customers,” he said.