Food We Produce
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.
Our rich prairie soils, good growing season and plentiful water resources have helped make the state an agricultural and food production powerhouse. We rank:
- 4th in crops
- 5th in total agricultural production
- 8th in livestock
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 output and over 147,000 jobs, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
The state ranks 8th in the number of farms – 73,000 – and 7th in the number of USDA-certified organic farms.
Top Crops and Exports
Minnesota ranks among the top 10 in more than two dozen agricultural products, including:
- 1st in turkeys raised, sugar beets
- 2nd in hogs, sweet corn for processing, green peas, oats, wild rice
- 3rd in soybeans, dry beans, sunflowers
- 4th in corn, canola, rye, flaxseed
- 5th in mink pelts
- 6th in barley
- 8th in milk, wheat, potatoes, honey, mohair
- 9th in cattle and calves
- 10th in poultry and eggs
Minnesota exports about $7.1 billion for total agricultural commodities and related food products. The top four exported products and their national rankings are:
- Soybeans: $2.1 billion, ranked 3rd
- Corn: $959 million, ranked 4th
- Feed grains: $738 million, ranked 4th
- Pork: $716 million, ranked 2nd
Sources: Minnesota Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture
Not surprisingly, Minnesota is home to some of the nation’s largest agricultural, food production and distribution companies – many with a global reach. Among them:
- General Mills
- Hormel Foods
- Land O’Lakes
- Rosen’s Diversified
A Leader in Food Innovation
Minnesota is at the heart of food product innovation, helping meet consumer demand for healthy, local food products. We’re also a go-to spot for food and agriculture research – from finding ways to improve crop yields and produce healthier plants and livestock to developing new food products and ensuring food safety.
Products made by our food manufacturing industry are valued at over $27 billion a year. This is our largest manufacturing sector by employment – accounting for more than 47,000 jobs. We also make the tools, equipment and machinery needed for agriculture and food production. Find out more in What We Make. [When site goes live, this should link to What We Make landing page. I have it on a list of links for go-live.]
Our knack for food innovation can be seen in products such as Angie’s Boomchickapop popcorn, our many craft breweries, as well as the many restaurants that have earned national acclaim. Three Minnesota restauranteurs were among the five finalists for Best Chef: Midwest in the 2018 James Beard Awards, and one – Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis – won that honor.
Per capita, we rank first in food patents – and ninth in food scientists and technologists.
The University of Minnesota 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:
Food Industry Fact Sheet
Dairy Industry Fact Sheet
Contact us to find out more about food we produce in Minnesota.