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Demand grows for Michigan’s food and ag exports

A record-breaking year in 2022 totaled $2.7 billion in exports.

Jennifer Kiel, Editor, Michigan Farmer and Ohio Farmer

April 26, 2023

2 Min Read
 Industrial shipping canal in Detroit
EXPORTS: Exports of Michigan food and ag products totaled a record-breaking $2.7 billion in 2022. JerryB7/Getty Images

From a jar of pickles to canned cherry pie filling, consumers worldwide have a taste for Michigan-grown foods and are willing to pay for it.

Export demand continues to grow — recording an 8% percent year-over-year growth for 2022, which beats a record set the year before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan’s food and agriculture exports totaled $2.7 billion in 2022.

Processed foods, such as the canned cherry pie filling, were the overall top exporter with $470 million in purchases. Other top product categories include sugarbeets, soybeans, soybean residue, brewing waste and animal feed ($335 million), dairy products ($263 million), wood products ($247 million), and edible meat products ($232 million).

Michigan consistently ranks as one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the nation, resulting in a wide array of exported products ranging from bulk soybeans to dried fruit, pickles and baked goods. Demand for these products continues to grow in local markets, with online retailers and in supercenters across the globe.

For those not already into the exporting market, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s International Marketing Program works to assist Michigan food and agricultural businesses in developing domestic and international market opportunities.

Opportunities include buyers/trade missions, trade shows, market research and more. Events such as the focused trade mission to Toronto for specialty and natural products can help companies by setting them up with one-on-one meetings with interested buyers.

Visit miagexport.com to see events for 2023, and go to MDARD’s international marketing website to learn more about how the international marketing program helps businesses in Michigan.

"Michigan continues to set the bar when it comes to quality food and agriculture products. Our diverse food and agriculture industry helps drive the state’s economic engine while making our state a household name on a local, national and global level," MDARD Director Tim Boring says.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer Kiel

Editor, Michigan Farmer and Ohio Farmer

While Jennifer is not a farmer and did not grow up on a farm, "I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone with more appreciation for the people who grow our food and fiber, live the lifestyles and practice the morals that bind many farm families," she says.

Before taking over as editor of Michigan Farmer in 2003, she served three years as the manager of communications and development for the American Farmland Trust Central Great Lakes Regional Office in Michigan and as director of communications with Michigan Agri-Business Association. Previously, she was the communications manager at Michigan Farm Bureau's state headquarters. She also lists 10 years of experience at six different daily and weekly Michigan newspapers on her impressive resume.

Jennifer lives in St. Johns with her two daughters, Elizabeth, 19, and Emily 16.

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