West Michigan Agriculture | Industry Growth Explored

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave me eight maids a milking, but West Michigan gave me 2,061. When people think of West Michigan their mind might not automatically jump to farmland and agriculture, but it is a large market in the area and continues to grow and support jobs, such as 2,061 jobs in dairy processing as of 2022. Michigan is the second most productive and diverse agricultural state in the nation, only behind California, and produces over 300 products. This agricultural productivity has been a factor behind the growing agricultural industry in the area, with the Grand Rapids MSA experiencing a 10-year industry growth rate of 45% according to the RightPlace.Org. This industry growth has boded well for the West Michigan community as we have seen a heavy increase in jobs both directly and indirectly related to the agriculture industry. As of 2022 the RightPlace.Org found that there are 30,018 jobs relating to the industry, making up 4.4% of total employment in West Michigan. And with thousands of jobs in each individual sector, here were the top seven:

  1. Crop Production: 5,802 Jobs
  2. Animal Processing: 4,588 Jobs
  3. Animal Production: 4,129 Jobs
  4. Bakeries: 3,657 Jobs
  5. Fruit & Vegetable Preserving: 3,340 Jobs
  6. Dairy Product Manufacturing: 2,061 Jobs
  7. Beverage Manufacturing: 1,648 Jobs

This number of jobs has had a significant impact on the market and is expected to continue to grow. This growth has been driven by both national food manufacturers that have been in Michigan for some time as well as manufacturers that have been drawn to the market because of its productivity and growth. Some notable companies include Kellogg’s subsidiary, Kellanova, Roskam Baking Co., Hearthside Foods, and Peterson Farms. In total there are 263 food and beverage manufacturing establishments in the Grand Rapids – Kentwood MSA alone, and 411 in West Michigan as a whole. As the agricultural industry grows this will lead to an increase in food and beverage production, having a positive impact on the demand for more commercial real estate relating to these industries. These industries effect all types of commercial real estate and will benefit the entire market as growth continues.

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