You may not know it, but farming and food production are a backbone of the Greater Minnesota and Twin Cities economies.

Minnesota farmers and ag and food companies play an essential role in the state’s economy and are largely responsible for the quality food we all consume every day. In fact, we’re talking about a multi-billion-dollar industry in our state that employs nearly 400,000 Minnesotans.

You may not realize it, but odds are that you or someone you know has direct ties to Minnesota’s farm and food sector. Farmers, while vital to the process, are only one piece of the food production puzzle. Companies such as Land O’Lakes, Cargill, General Mills and CHS – which employ thousands of Minnesotans in the metro area – also play an equally important role in how good food ends up on your table.


Still not sure why you should care about good Minnesota farm and food production? Just check out some of the stats below:



Minnesota farmers and food producers not only supply our state with valuable food and resources, they support millions of people with food around the globe. Agriculture is our state’s top export and is vitally important in sustaining a healthy economy for all of us.

fact-sect-1There are more than 73,000 Minnesota farms covering nearly 26 million acres that yield $4.86 billion worth of corn and $3.25 billion worth of soybeans each year.1,2

fact-sect-2Minnesota is home to more than 2.4 million cattle and 46 million turkeys.3,4We produce 14 million pigs in a year.5

fact-sect-3Minnesota farms generate approximately $1.87 billion in milk sales annually.6

fact-sect-4Minnesota farm and food producers account for nearly 400,000 jobs, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.7

fact-sect-5Minnesota is the 3rd largest agricultural exporting state, with an estimated $7.35 billion in global exports each year.8,9

fact-sect-6The largest 18 Minnesota food companies, those with more than $500 million in annual sales, make up only 1.5 percent of Minnesota’s food companies, but they employ almost 41 percent of all the food industry workers and generate more than 95 percent of all sales in this sector.10

1United States Department of Agriculture and National Agricultural Statistics Service. (2015). 2015 State Agriculture Overview. Retrieved from

2Bau, David. (2016). Minnesota Corn and Soybean Economics. University of Minnesota: Extension. Retrieved from

3United States Department of Agriculture and National Agricultural Statistics Service. (2016). All Cattle & Calves. The Cattle Range. Retrieved from

4Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. (2015). Minnesota Turkey Industry Facts. Retrieved from

5Minnesota Pork Producers Association. (2013). MN Pork Production. Retrieved from

6Midwest Dairy Association. (2014). Dairy in the Midwest: Minnesota. Retrieved from

7Minnesota Department of Agriculture. (2015). Minnesota Agricultural Export Highlights. Minnesota Agricultural Exports. Retrieved from

8Minnesota Department of Agriculture. (2015). MN Agricultural Rankings. Minnesota Agricultural Profile. Retrieved from

9Kinsey, J., & Ghosh, K. (2010). Food Companies in Minnesota: How Many are There? The University of Minnesota. Retrieved from (older statistic)

10Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence. (2016). 50-State Property Tax Comparison Study.