Each year, states across the nation recognize March as a time to celebrate the importance of food and agriculture as it provides almost everything we eat and use each day. As part of that celebration, Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed March ‘Food and Agriculture Month’ in Michigan.
“Michigan’s food and agriculture businesses are on the grow – generating $96 billion in total economic activity each year. Food and agriculture are going to continue to be a rock-star industry for the next 10-20 years because of export opportunities,” said Snyder. “As the home to a diverse, dynamic, cutting-edge food and agriculture industry, there is tremendous opportunity for us in research and development, food processing and exports.”
“One of our greatest assets is the diversity we have here in Michigan’s food and agriculture sector. I’m thankful for this opportunity to honor the role they play in providing us with a safe and abundant food supply, as well as providing a strong economic foundation for Michigan’s comeback,” said Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director. “As the nation’s second most agriculturally diverse state, Michigan offers tremendous business and career opportunities. From veterinarians to starting your own food-based company, the possibilities are endless.”
“Michigan is fortunate to enjoy more than 300 food and agricultural commodities produced on 52,194 farms,” said Laura Moser, president of the Michigan Ag Council and communications manager for the Michigan Milk Producers Association. “These safe, delicious and high quality Michigan foods we prepare for our families are grown and raised by hardworking farmers in our communities.”
Michigan food and agriculture facts:
- Michigan farmers produce more than 300 different agricultural commodities and ranks fourth in the nation for farmers markets. It is also home to 101 wineries and dozens of micro-breweries.
- Agriculture, food processors, and related businesses employ 923,000 Michiganders—22 percent of the state’s workforce.
- Michigan leads the nation in the production of 17 commodities, including tart cherries, blueberries, three kinds of dry beans (black, cranberry and small red), 11 floriculture products (including begonias, geraniums, petunias and impatiens), and pickling cucumbers. Michigan also ranks in the top 10 for 40 other commodities.
- Michigan has nearly 10 million acres of farmland, and is home to 52,194 farms.
- Michigan exports about one-third of its agricultural commodities each year, generating nearly $3.2 billion. Over 60 percent of all Michigan’s agricultural exports go directly to Canada, our number one export market. Rounding out the top countries eager for Michigan-grown products are Mexico, Japan, Korea, and China.
- Michigan is home to approximately 2,000 licensed food processors, employing more than 130,000 residents and generating nearly $25 billion in economic activity, making the state 19th in the nation for food processing.
To learn more about the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, follow them on their Facebook page.