Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Facts

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.

Agricultural Diversity

  • 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.

Farm Structure

  • 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.

Specialty Sectors

  • 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
  • Begonias
  • Blueberries
  • Tart Cherries
  • Pickling Cucumbers
  • Easter Lilies
  • Geraniums
  • Low Fat Ice Cream Mix
  • Impatiens
  • Petunias
  • Squash

Major Commodity Sectors (based on cash receipts)

  • Milk
  • Floriculture
  • Corn
  • Soybeans
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Cattle
  • Hogs
  • Poultry
  • 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