West Michigan's agribusiness sector produces one-third of Michigan's total agricultural sales, contributing $1.5 billion to the regional economy. This sector:
- Is among the most productive and diverse regions in a state that is second only to California in its agricultural diversity
- Provides more than 26,000 jobs and $579 million in labor income
- Comprises more than 9,000 farms and nearly 1.5 million acres – 1.1 million acres of which are harvested crop land
- Benefits from rail, deepwater ports, the state’s second-largest airport, and a transportation infrastructure that offers same-day delivery to Minneapolis, Toronto, Memphis, and other major hubs
West Michigan’s agricultural and food processing clusters are among the top 25 percent of their U.S. peers. Our state’s unique combination of soil, climate, and weather patterns has created one of the most diverse agricultural sectors in the nation. Surrounded by 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, Michigan’s water abundance also makes it a natural choice for large-scale farming and food processing.
Select Leading Employers
Dairy production, wood products, agriculture support, greenhouses, and nurseries, as well as bakeries and tortilla manufacturing are among our largest product groups. Specialty foods, meat processing, and grain milling also contribute significantly to our regional economy. Home to several national and internationally recognized food brands, West Michigan companies include:
Growing Food for Today, Discovering Solutions for Tomorrow
Beyond basic farming and food production, West Michigan is also home to a diverse cluster of agriculture- and food-related innovation and research organizations. Growing industries here include biological product manufacturing, as well as medicinal and botanical manufacturing. In addition, industry leaders in nutrition, nutraceuticals, food packaging, crop science, and research are also located here. They include:
- Bayer CropScience Ltd. – Bayer CropScience is recognized globally as an innovative crop science company in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, as well as seed and plant biotechnology.
- SPI Pharma – SPI Pharma is a leading supplier to the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and animal health markets worldwide.
- Amway – Using certified organic and sustainable farming methods as well as the latest in nutritional research and plant science, Amway develops and distributes its Nutrilite brand of plant-based nutritional supplements and wellness products.
- Oliver Products – For more than 100 years, Oliver Products has developed and produced innovative products for the food packaging and bakery equipment markets. Taking advantage of that expertise, the company has also become a growing supplier of medical device packaging.
To learn more about our business clusters and location advantages, contact us.