Jamie Clover Adams
Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is no small business. The food and agriculture business sector is vital to the state’s economic engine generating approximately $101.2 billion each year for the state’s economy and employing 923,000 Michigan residents.
There are nearly 10 million acres of farmland in Michigan, and the state is home to 52,194 farms averaging 191 acres each. Michigan produces over 300 commodities on a commercial basis including tart cherries, blueberries, dry beans, floriculture products (including flowering hang baskets, Begonias, Easter lilies, geraniums, petunias and impatiens), and cucumbers for pickles. Michigan farms and the commodities they produce account for $13 billion of the overall total, making agriculture a vital piece for the state’s economic recovery and reinvention.
Michigan’s agriculture exports in 2013 totaled $3.53 billion in food and agriculture products with their top export markets being Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and China. Agriculture exports help boost farm prices and income, while also supporting over 20,000 jobs both on and off the farm in food processing, storage, and transportation.
Michigan’s agri-food businesses touch the daily lives of every Michigan consumer from the food they eat, the milk they drink, to the flowers they plant, to the gas they put in their car. As one of the state’s largest economic drivers, it’s a sector ripe with opportunity for business expansion, job growth and is poised to be a bright spot in the state’s economic future.