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Plant Your Investment, Watch it Grow

West Michigan's agribusiness sector produces one-third of Michigan's total agricultural sales, contributing to $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:
  • Gerber Products Co. – Founded in West Michigan, now a recently acquired subsidiary of Nestlé, Gerber is a global leader in early childhood nutrition, producing more than 200 food products ranging from cereals to purees to meals and snacks for toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Mead Johnson Nutritionals – Founded more than 100 years ago, Mead Johnson is a global leader in infant and children's nutrition manufacturing and marketing more than 70 products in over 50 countries.
  • Kellogg Company – With sales of nearly $13 billion, Kellogg Company is the world's leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, frozen waffles and meat alternatives.
  • King Milling Co. – A leading producer of wheat and flour products, the King Milling Company produces roughly 800,000 lbs. of flour and 500,000 lbs. of whole-wheat products per day.
  • Butterball Farms – Founded by Leo Peters, inventor of the Butterball turkey, Butterball Farms is a national producer of custom flavored and sculpted butters for restaurants, hotels and other commercial customers.
  • Cole’s Quality Foods – Founded in 1943, Cole’s frozen garlic bread, breadsticks, cheese sticks and other bread products are available in grocery stores nationwide.
  • Country Fresh – Part of the Midwest Division of Dean Foods, Country Fresh is a leading Midwest producer of dairy products and juices.
  • Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream Company – Founded more than 100 years ago by a cooperative of West Michigan dairy farmers, Hudsonville Creamery Ice Cream Company was the first to develop a commercially successful Continuous Process Freezer, making mass-production of ice cream possible. Today, Hudsonville Ice Cream is available throughout Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

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.
  • Contech – Contech was founded in 1987 as a small, Canadian company dedicated to designing, manufacturing, and marketing innovative and environmentally-friendly products for the pet and garden industries.

To learn more about our business clusters and location advantages, contact us.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's International Marketing Program helps Michigan producers and processors in developing trade opportunities by entering new markets or expanding existing markets to increase international market reach. Read More

MarketMaker is a platform that seeks to foster business relationships between producers and consumers of food industry products and services. Read More