Macomb is the third most populous county in the state with over 841,000 residents, yet we are the third smallest in terms of land area. Still, northern Macomb County remains largely agricultural. Approximately 17% of our land is currently occupied by active farmland. In 2007, we had over 475 working farms, roughly 62,000 acres of farmland, and over $52 million worth of agricultural products sold. The MCPED, our communities, and our partners recognize how important agriculture is to our economy and are working diligently to ensure that farming remains a viable business here.
Over 475 working farms, roughly 62,000 acres of farmland, and over $52 million worth of agricultural products sold
Statewide Michigan has over 54,900 farms, which generate $55 billion in economic activity. It is the State’s second largest industry and in 2010 alone earned a record $6.4 billion in cash receipts. Michigan is second only to California in the diversity of crops grown.
Several innovative programs exist locally and at the state level, which are designed to make it easier for farmers and farming related operations to grow and prosper. Through the SBTDC, farmers of food and non-consumables have received customized instruction in utilizing small business principles, such as business plan development, to achieve greater profits in their operations.
In tandem with the promotion of brownfield redevelopment, the MCPED is working with agricultural and food processing businesses to help them to compete and remain profitable, thus aiding in the preservation of local farmland. The group is also engaged in efforts to promote biomass production of alternative fuels, specifically, biodiesel, as a means to help introduce a new market for the local growers of appropriate feedstock crops.
Numerous other programs exist to aide the agricultural industry in Macomb County and Michigan. To learn more visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture website.
Selling directly to consumers under the Cottage Food Law provides an opportunity for new, small scale food processors to "test the waters" and see if operating a food business is the right fit for them. The law also enables farmers who sell produce at farmers' markets and farm markets to expand their product lines to include things like baked goods and jams. Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone into a full-scale, licensed food processing business for many cottage food businesses in the future. Click here for more information.