Manufacturing has recently supplanted agriculture as the most important sector of Idaho's economy. Cattle and dairy goods are among the leading agricultural products. Idaho's chief crops are potatoes (for which the state, easily the nation's largest producer, is famous), hay, wheat, peas, beans, and sugar beets. Electronic and computer equipment, processed foods, lumber, and chemicals are the major manufactured items.
The unspoiled quality of much of Idaho's land has nourished one of the youngest of Idaho's businesses—the tourist trade. Sun Valley, one of the nation's best-known year-round vacation spots, is an example of the development of resorts in Idaho. Mining, once the major source of income, and still economically important, produces phosphates, gold, silver, molybdenum, antimony, lead, zinc, and other minerals.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.