LANSING – Governor Rick Snyder has declared March as Michigan Food and Agriculture Month, to honor and celebrate the diversity and abundance provided by Michigan’s farmers and the state’s growing food and agriculture sector. The diversity of the food grown here, easy access to water, and the various microclimates created by our proximity to the Great Lakes make Michigan the ideal location for all facets of the food and agriculture chain.
View the 2018 Michigan Food and Agriculture Month Proclamation here: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdard/Michigan_Food_and_Ag_Month_2018_615874_7.pdf
“The food and agriculture sector is one of our state’s critical economic drivers, contributing more than $101 billion to the state’s economy each year,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “There is a tremendous opportunity for food and ag businesses to take a national leadership role in research and development, food processing, and exports from Michigan.”
“Not only is March a great time to thank our farmers, it’s also a time to look at the industry’s abundant business and career opportunities,” said Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director. “From technology-based careers to microbiologists to having your own food-based company, the possibilities are limitless. MDARD stands ready to help new and established companies grow right here in Michigan.”
Throughout Michigan Food and Agriculture Month, MDARD will partner with Grand Traverse Pie Company, McDonald’s of Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Farm Bureau, and others to highlight the various facets of the state’s food, forestry and agriculture sectors.
Michigan food and agriculture facts:
- Our farmers produce more than 300 agricultural commodities on 10 million acres of farmland. Michigan ranks in the top ten for 36 commodities, and is the largest producer of eight commodities, including asparagus, tart cherries, cucumbers, squash, Niagara grapes, and three varieties of dry beans.
- Michigan ranks third in the nation for farmers markets.
- Michigan is home to more than 140 wineries and more than 300 micro-breweries.
- Agriculture, food processors, and related businesses employ 923,000 Michiganders—22 percent of the state’s workforce.
- Michigan has nearly 10 million acres of farmland and 51,400 farms.
- Michigan exports about one-third of its agricultural commodities each year, generating nearly $2.12 billion. Almost 52 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 China, Mexico, Japan, and Thailand.
- Michigan is home to 2,166 licensed food processors generating nearly $25 billion in economic activity – making the state 19th in the nation for food processing.
“You can be a part of the celebration by following MDARD on Twitter or on Facebook,” said MDARD Chief Deputy Director Gordon Wenk. “You’ll see posts throughout the month of March featuring Michigan crops, Michigan food and agriculture businesses and MDARD employees who help support and grow our industry.”
Some of the highlights during the month:
- March 1 – Our kick-off event, a Salute to Farm-Fresh Eggs, will be held at McDonald’s in Royal Oak. McDonald’s continues to be a leading partner with Michigan’s egg industry, purchasing more than 65 million dozen Michigan eggs and more than $116 million in total Michigan agriculture products.
- March 13 – Public unveiling of the 2018 Michigan Agriculture Magazine, which highlights farm families and businesses that strive each day to ”Grow Michigan Agriculture.” The magazine will be available at Michigan Welcome Centers and ag-related events across the state, and online at http://www.MIagriculture.com.
- March 14 (3.14) is Pi Day, a day noted by math enthusiasts around the world, and Grand Traverse Pie Company will help us celebrate all day by offering slices of their famous “ABC Pie,” which features fruits of Michigan—apples, blueberries and cherries—free with any purchase. The day will also celebrate math, education and agriculture.
- March 14 – MDARD will partner with the Pure Michigan Business Connect to offer the Pure Michigan Agriculture Summit at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. This premier event connects food producers and buyers through one-on-one meetings, a trade show and educational programs. For more information or to register for the summit, visit http://www.PureMIAg.com.
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