NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — Louisiana’s sugarcane industry has for centuries been a vital contributor to the state’s economy having provided many jobs and millions of dollars of revenue each year.

The economic impact to Louisiana is $4.2B with more than 19K people employed.

Sugarcane Festival King David Thibodeaux says the production of all sugar from Louisiana farms are the result of approximately 400,000 acres across the state.

“So that is a lot of sugar and it is a lot of impact on the economy which spans across 24 parishes where sugarcane is grown. It is grounded by 11 mills statewide.”

Erin Blanchard Duplechain is this year’s Sugarcane Festival Queen who has a lot of knowledge on the industry.

She shares how impactful Louisiana’s sugarcane production is throughout the whole country.

“We have such a huge influence on a nation wide standpoint. We produce over twenty percent of the sugar that is consumed throughout our country and there are only three states left in the country producing sugarcane. It is us (Louisiana), Texas and Florida.”

Simply put, she says, Louisiana’s sugar is a cherished way of life for thousands of residents.