Food and Agriculture month celebrated in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Food and Agriculture month celebrated in Michigan

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LANSING, MI (WNEM) -

Nationally and in states across the nation, March is a celebration of the importance of food and agriculture, as it provides almost everything we eat and use each day. As part of that celebration, March has been proclaimed Food and Agriculture Month in Michigan by Gov. Rick Snyder.

"As we move into the growing season in Michigan, it is a perfect time to celebrate the diversity and abundance provided by our state's 55,000 farms," said Snyder. "They not only provide us with food and fiber, but related businesses form the foundation of a dynamic food and agriculture industry pumping $91.4 billion into our state's economy each year. I encourage you to join me in recognizing and supporting Pure Michigan Agriculture."

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 workers.

State officials released the following Michigan food and agriculture facts:

  • Michigan leads the nation in the production of 18 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 10 million acres of farmland, and is home to 55,000 farms.
  • Michigan exports about one-third of its agricultural commodities each year, generating nearly $2.8 billion. Our top export markets are Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and China. Soybeans and soy products were Michigan's largest export commodity in 2011, valued at $477.1 million.
  • 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.

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