Facts about Michigan Agriculture
Boost your intelligence and impress your family, friends and colleagues with your knowledge of Michigan's often overlooked but truly impressive agriculture industry.
- Michigan produces more than 300 commodities, making us the state with the second most diverse agriculture industry in the nation just behind California.
- Michigan has a diverse commodity mix that is made up of about 60 percent crops and 40 percent livestock.
Farms & Farmland
- In 2014, the number of farms in Michigan totaled 51,600.
- Michigan farmland in 2017 totaled nearly 10 million acres.
- The average size farm in Michigan was 193 acres in 2014.
- 95 percent of Michigan farms are single-family operated and/or family partnerships.
- Of the few Michigan farms structured as corporations, 99 percent of those are family-owned and involve multiple generations and family members.
- The average age of a Michigan farmer is 56 years old.
- The food and agriculture industry contributes $101.2 billion annually to the state's economy.
- Michigan is home to approximately 2,000 licensed food processors, employing more than 130,000 residents.
- The state's food processors generate nearly $25 billion in economic activity, making Michigan 19th in the nation for food processing.
- Agriculture, food processors, and related businesses employ 923,000 Michiganders — 22 percent of the state's workforce.
- 24,795 Michiganders operate farms as their primary occupation. An additional 52,719 work part-time on farms, while maintaining off-farm jobs.
- Michigan is home to the nation's pioneer land-grant university, Michigan State University, where the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources offers many agriculture-related majors.
- Michigan ranks third in the nation for number of farmers markets.
- The state is home to 129 wineries.
- Michigan boasts more than 200 micro-breweries.
- Michigan exports about one-third of its agricultural commodities each year, generating nearly $2.8 billion.
- Almost 40 percent of all Michigan's agricultural exports go directly to Canada, our No. 1 export market.
- Rounding out the top countries eager for Michigan-grown products are Mexico, Japan, China, and Thailand.
Tops in National Agricultural Production
Our state ranks No. 1 nationally in the production of:
- Dry Black and Cranberry Beans
- Tart Cherries
- Pickling Cucumbers
- Easter Lilies
- Low Fat Ice Cream Mix
Major Commodity Sectors (based on cash receipts)
- Sugar beets
Sources and additional resources
- Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michiganders: Let's Celebrate Food and Ag Month, March 2017 News Release
- USDA NASS Great Lakes Region, Michigan Farm Numbers, Feb. 2015 News Release
- USDA NASS Great Lakes Region, 2012 Census Profiles Michigan Farmers & Agriculture, News Release
- MSU Product Center, Strategic Research Papers, Economic Impact of Michigan's Food & Agriculture Sector