With an economic contribution of more than $101 billion each year, it’s safe to say food and agriculture are extremely important in Michigan.

There are 52,194 farms spread across 9.9 million acres where Michigan farmers grow and raise a wide range of commodities. In fact, the state is second in the nation in terms of agricultural diversity.

For example, Michigan leads the nation in the production of asparagus; black, cranberry and small red dried beans; cucumbers; tart cherries; Niagara grapes and squash. It also produces an impressive amount of apples, blueberries, chestnuts, beef, Christmas trees and floriculture products, among many others.

The state is the top producer for nine floriculture crops, including impatiens, begonias, Easter lilies, geraniums and petunias.

The food and agriculture industry provides many jobs for the people of Michigan, accounting for about 22 percent of the state’s workforce.

And, while Michigan and the rest of the country benefit from the state’s plentiful production, so does the world. In 2015, Michigan exported about $2.8 billion in food and ag products to top markets including Canada, Japan, China, Thailand and Mexico. That’s big bucks for the state, as every dollar that comes from export activity generates another $2.93 in economic activity, resulting in a local impact of an additional $8.2 billion. Not only that, but exports also create jobs in Michigan. Every $1 billion in agriculture exports creates 8,000 jobs in the state.

But Michigan food and agriculture is more than crops and commodities. The sector encompasses everything from agribusinesses and food processing to agritourism, agricultural education and good environmental practices. Through continued hard work, education and progressive innovation, Michigan agriculture is holding strong.

Great Grapes

Michigan’s wine industry deserves a toast. Each year, the industry contributes approximately $5.4 billion to the state’s economy and accounts for more than 47,299 jobs. Michigan grows a wide variety of wine grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Vidal, Frontenac, Riesling and more, and the state’s 30,500 acres of vineyards make it the fourth-largest grape-growing state in the nation.

Michigan has 130 commercial wineries that bottle more than 2.75 million gallons of wine per year, and wineries greatly contribute to Michigan tourism as well, attracting about 2 million visitors annually.

Learn more about Michigan wines at michiganwines.com.

Photo by Wes Aldridge

Farm Fun

Experience Michigan agriculture at many fun and educational festivals across the state. Here are a few to mark on the calendar. For a full listing of events, click here.

TULIP TIME FESTIVAL
Holland, May 5-13

NATIONAL ASPARAGUS FESTIVAL
Oceana County, June 8-10

BELLEVILLE NATIONAL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
Belleville, June 15-17

NATIONAL CHERRY FESTIVAL
Traverse City, June 30-July 7

NATIONAL BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL
South Haven, Aug. 9-12

UPPER PENINSULA STATE FAIR
Escanaba, Aug. 13-19

MICHIGAN STATE FAIR, LLC
Novi, Aug. 30-Sept. 3

GRAND RAPIDS INTERNATIONAL WINE, BEER & FOOD FESTIVAL
Grand Rapids, November

Find more ag events and festivals at mfea.org.

Photo by Steve Woit

Agritourism Destinations

Spend a day on the farm at one of Michigan’s many agritourism destinations. With the mission of teaching consumers more about the state’s diverse food and agriculture industry, agritourism destinations provide fun activities while educating visitors about agriculture.

Michigan’s agritourism destinations include bakeries, barn weddings, bed-and-breakfasts, breweries, corn mazes, on-farm vacations, farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, agricultural Festivals, hayrides, petting zoos, U-Pick farms, wineries and more!

Find agritourism spots near you at michiganfarmfun.com.

Photo courtesy of Mitten Crate

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