Sugar Company A "Pure Michigan" Success Story

By Nathaniel Fedorchak | October 29, 2013

Agriculture is one of Michigan’s “Big Three” industries and plays a critical role in the state’s comeback. Gov. Rick Snyder visited the Michigan Sugar Company in October to congratulate it on its success.

Located in Bay City, the Michigan Sugar Company has been part of the state’s economy for more than 100 years. The company is owned by farmers who produce more than a billion pounds of sugar a year.

It’s a Pure Michigan success story.

“As a whole, we can export more, we can do more value-added processing, we can do more research and development,” Snyder said.  “That’s why I was excited to come here today.  You’re doing it all.”

Snyder toured the plant and thanked farmers for being one of the many great agricultural institutions in Michigan. Snyder told employees about the importance of the state’s agriculture industry.

“You guys got us through the tough years, the missing decade there.  Agriculture was a shining light during that period, but I’m even more excited for the next 20 or 30 years.”

There are nearly a million people employed in jobs related to agriculture in the state, about  22 percent of the state’s workforce. There are about 2,500 people employed at the Michigan Sugar Company.

“The outlook is bright,” said Mark Flegenheimer, Michigan Sugar president and CEO. “In the last few years we’ve put a lot of money into the facilities to reduce energy, and we’ve put a lot of money into value added packaging powdered, brown, specialty products, smaller packages that you’ll see on the grocery store shelf.”

These and other innovations from the agriculture industry are helping to bring more and better jobs to the state.

“This is good Michigan success,” Snyder said. “And I want to thank you for your efforts to help the whole Michigan economy.”