LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The year of 2021 was one of serious growth for Michigan’s food, agriculture and forest product exports.

There was a 19% growth in the three industries, with the U.S. Census Bureau reporting that Michigan’s food and agriculture exports totaled to $2.5 billion in 2021.

Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is thriving with 19% annual growth and $2.5 billion in exports. It continues to uplift Michigan’s economy and make a local, national and global impact. Michigan’s agriculture industry is critical to expanding economic opportunities and creating more good-paying jobs for Michiganders. We will stay focused on investing in rural economic development, empowering farmers and agriculture businesses, and ensuring that the words ‘Made in Michigan’ are seen around the world.” 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

I’m proud that Michigan’s food and agriculture production continues to thrive, and our reputation grows worldwide. Michigan food and agriculture diverse, high-quality products are well-known known globally. I’m excited as this industry continues to show the world what makes Michigan food and agriculture so special.” 

Gary McDowell, Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Development (MDARD)

Breakdown of Michigan Food & Agriculture Exports

Processed foods accounted for $437 million of Michigan’s exported food and agricultural products. Alone, the processed food category created a $72 million increase over 2020 export totals.

Other big exports include:

  • Soybean, sugar beet and wheat byproducts – $304 million
  • Dairy products – $234 million
  • Wood products – $230 million
  • Edible meat products – $215 million

Though last year was jam-packed with supply chain issues, Michigan companies saw an increase in the value of export across multiple international markets. 

According to Whitmer, in 2021, the top international markets for food and agriculture exports from Michigan were Canada ($1.19 billion), Mexico ($292 million), China ($168 million), South Korea ($163 million) and Japan ($146 million).