Food and Agriculture
Total Job Growth
(National average $51,670)
More than 73,000 acres – nearly a quarter of all land – in Macomb County is a hotbed for agriculture purposes. The county has more than 400 active farms, 96 percent of them being family owned, which has allowed for a growing trend of farm to table to flourish. There’s also nearly 60 locations focused on food processing and manufacturing operations. Food products grown and manufactured in Macomb County are routinely sold to both wholesalers and retailers for distribution and have value added through businesses primarily engaged in baking, processing and packaging. Traditional farming as well as non-traditional production has allowed adaptability of farms throughout Macomb County.
From 2010-2018 there was a 55.6 percent increase in job growth in the food and agriculture sector in Macomb County. Since 2009, food manufacturing jobs within Macomb County have nearly doubled from more than 760 to just over 1,400 and agricultural production jobs have risen from 850 to nearly 1,100. This job growth is due in part to the $26.2 million of investments put into these companies and facilities through the Macomb County Business Retention Program over the last six years. In Michigan, the craft brewing industry has doubled the number of operations since 2011 and Macomb County is currently home to thirteen craft breweries. With this rapid industry growth, three in-state universities are embracing the growing number of craft breweries by launching college programs centered on fermentation science and sustainable brewing.
|Job Title||Employed in Industry Group (2019)||Percent Increase 2010 - 2019||Median Hourly Earnings (2019)|
|Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers||369||21%||$32.41|
|Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse||264||25%||$10.68|
|Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders||128||75%||$13.32|
|Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals||115||109%||$10.93|
Michigan's climate and geography makes it the second most diverse state in the U.S. for crop production. Macomb County is a leader in the production of corn, soy and apples. Ornamental horticulture is also a large economic sector here and as a result, Macomb County was ranked in the top five percent of all counties nationwide in dollar amount of products sold for nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and sod products in the 2017 USDA Agriculture Census.
Macomb County is home to longtime food staples such as Sanders & Morley Candy Makers Inc., National Coney Island and Bosco’s Pizza Co. as well as successful newcomers Blake’s Hard Cider Co. and Ethel’s Edibles. Macomb County is also home to many agricultural assets, as captured in the 2017 USDA Agricultural Census, including 18 dairy farms, 36 livestock operations, 2.2 million square feet of greenhouse and nursery operations, and 10 community-sponsored farmers markets
LOCAL SUCCESS IN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
Blake's Orchard - Armada, MI
Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill, family owned and operated since 1946, is an agritourism destination which has expanded to now include a hard cider processing plant and tasting room on site. The family invested $2,000,000 into the cider processing operation in 2018 to increase capacity, allowing for a wider distribution area covering the eastern half of the United States. This project created 20 jobs and retained 200 jobs.
The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development (MCPED) introduced the company to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to help them secure Value Added grants of up to $150,000 to help cover the cost of equipment. Macomb County also connected Blake’s to grant writers that aided the company in applying for those grants.
Using MCPED, Blake's Orchard and Cider Mill was able to increase their event marketing efforts through social media. The department also introduced the company to local food processing businesses which allowed them to expand their products to more stores.
In over ten years of working with Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill, the department has connected them to Michigan Works for multiple hiring needs. This partnership has worked together to bring the Macomb County Department of Roads and Armada Township together to address possible road grants to mitigate traffic and congestion on Armada Center road.
INDUSTRY JOBS BY YEAR
TOP LOCAL COMPANIES
Achatz Handmade Pie Co.
Armada Grain Company
Big Red Orchard
Blake Farms & Hard Cider Cos.
Bosco's Pizza Co.
Boyka's Farms and Greenhouses
Brown Iron Brewhouse
Just Delicious Scones
Kuhnhenn Brewing Co.
Macomb Smoked Meats
Miller's Big Red Farms
Motor City Malt House
National Coney Island
Safie Specialty Foods
Sanders & Morley Candy Makers Inc.
Starr Craft Brewing Company
Turri's Italian Foods