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    Snyder Proclaims March 'Food and Agriculture Month' in Michigan

    March 5, 2013
     
    MDARD Contact - Jennifer Holton, 517-241-2485 or holtonj@michigan.gov

    MI Farm Bureau Contact - Jeremy Nagel, 517-323-6585 or jnagel1@michfb.com
     
     
    LANSING - Nationally and in states across the nation, March is a celebration of the importance of food and agriculture, as it provides almost everything we eat and use each day. As part of that celebration, Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed March ‘Food and Agriculture Month' in Michigan.

    "As we move into the growing season in Michigan, it is a perfect time to celebrate the diversity and abundance provided by our state's 55,000 farms," said Snyder. "They not only provide us with food and fiber, but related businesses form the foundation of a dynamic food and agriculture industry pumping $91.4 billion into our state's economy each year. I encourage you to join me in recognizing and supporting Pure Michigan Agriculture."

    "Proclaiming March as Food and Agriculture Month offers us an opportunity to appreciate and honor the role our food and agriculture businesses play in providing us with a safe and abundant food supply. These businesses are also a vital part of a strong economic foundation for Michigan," said Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director. "As the nation's second most agriculturally diverse state, Michigan offers tremendous opportunities for those interested in starting a new food-based business or expanding a current operation. This month, please take time to thank a farmer."

    "I can confidently say our 48,500 farmer members across the state are grateful for this recognition," said Wayne Wood, Michigan Farm Bureau President. "Michigan farmers work hard year-round to provide our customers with safe, abundant and nutritious food. For us every day is Ag Day-every month is Ag Month. We appreciate the governor's continued, strong support for Michigan agriculture."

    Michigan farmers produce more than 300 different agricultural commodities and ranks fourth in the nation for farmers markets. It is also home to 101 wineries and dozens of micro-breweries.

    Agriculture, food processors, and related businesses employ 923,000 Michiganders-22 percent of the state's workers.

    Michigan food and agriculture facts:

    - Michigan leads the nation in the production of 18 commodities, including tart cherries, blueberries, three kinds of dry beans (black, cranberry and small red), 11 floriculture products (including begonias, geraniums, petunias and impatiens), and pickling cucumbers.  Michigan also ranks in the top 10 for 40 other commodities.

    - Michigan has 10 million acres of farmland, and is home to 55,000 farms.

    - Michigan exports about one-third of its agricultural commodities each year, generating nearly $2.8 billion. Our top export markets are Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and China. Soybeans and soy products were Michigan's largest export commodity in 2011, valued at $477.1 million.

    - Michigan is home to approximately 2,000 licensed food processors, employing more than 130,000 residents and generating nearly $25 billion in economic activity, making the state 19th in the nation for food processing.

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