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Agricultural crops and livestock were among Minnesota’s first industries. Minnesota’s rich prairie soils, good growing season and plentiful water resources have helped make Minnesota an agricultural and food production powerhouse.

Read our Fact Sheets on Minnesota’s Food Industry and Dairy Industry.

Overall, Minnesota ranks:

  • 5th in crop production
  • 5th in total agricultural production
  • 8th in livestock production

For more than 50 years, starting in the late 1800s, Minneapolis was known as the "Flour Milling Capital of the World."

Today, agricultural production and processing in Minnesota accounts for $57.5 billion in sales and more than 147,000 jobs, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The state ranks eighth in the number of farms – 73,300 – and 10th in the number of USDA-certified organic farms.

Minnesota ranks among the top 10 in more than 20 agricultural products, including:

  • 1st in sugar beets, turkeys, red kidney beans
  • 2nd in green peas, oats, sweet corn
  • 3rd in hogs and pigs, soybeans, dry beans, spring wheat, sunflowers for oil
  • 4th in corn for grain, alfalfa
  • 5th in canola
  • 6th in cheese, red meat
  • 7th in honey, barley, vegetables
  • 8th in milk, cattle on feed, potatoes
  • 9th in milk goats
  • 10th in wheat

[Sources: United States Department of Agriculture; Minnesota Department of Agriculture]

Not surprisingly, Minnesota is home to some of the nation's largest agricultural and food production companies. Among them are:




General Mills

Land O'Lakes

Hormel Foods


Rosen's Diversified

Schwan's Company

Minnesota also manufactures the tools, equipment and machinery needed for agriculture and food production and processing.

Find out more about Minnesota’s Agriculture and Food and Animal Science industries.

Innovation Starts Here

Minnesota leads the nation in food patents per capita – and has long been on the forefront of research and innovation in agriculture, food production and food safety.

The University of Minnesota – founded in 1851 – has helped educate generations of agricultural producers and processors through its degree programs and extension system. It also has long been a leader in agriculture, livestock and food research.

Among the state's many public and private agriculture and food education and research facilities are:

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