For centuries farmers have been figuring out how to produce higher outputs with gradually smaller but smarter inputs. In the U.S. the agriculture sector continues to increase productivity year over year second only to information technology. Our family farms do this by continually investing in new machinery and technologies, improved processes and gaining new knowledge. They also continue to improve land stewardship to maintain the value of their land for generations to come.
With the challenge of feeding 9 billion people in the world by 2050, these improvements are great news as Iowa continues to be a national leader in food processing. And the latest numbers confirm that the trend remains strong:
- Iowa is #1 in the nation in corn, soybean, pork and egg production. (USDA, 2010)
- Iowa is home to 27 of the largest 100 food manufacturers/processors. (Food Processing Magazine, 2010)
- Iowa is home to the largest cereal mill (Quaker Oats) and largest caramel color plant (Sethness) in the world, and the largest spice plant (Tone’s) in North America. (Iowa Department of Economic Development)
- 23% of Iowa’s manufacturing GDP comes from the food processing industry. In 2009, Iowa’s food industry invested over $680 million in capital investment (BEA 2008 and U.S. Census 2009)
- More than 820 Iowa food processors generate more than $32 billion worth of food products annually. (Hoover’s Database and US Census Bureau, 2009)
- Iowa alone produces one-fourteenth of the nation’s food supply. (USDA, 2010)
- Iowa produces 17% of the nation’s corn supply, 15% of the nation’s soybeans and 16% of the nation’s eggs. (USDA, 2010)
- Iowa produces 14.6 billion eggs each year, almost double the second egg-producing state. (USDA, 2010)
- Iowa’s farmers produce 29% of the nation’s pork. (USDA, 2010)
- Iowa is the # 7 beef producing state in the US. (USDA, 2008)
Tama County Economic Development will be a part of a group of Iowa Economic Developers representing the State of Iowa in building on this strong foundation of food processing at the Institute of Food Technologists
(IFT) conference mid-June. If you are a local company positioned for growth and looking to connect with customer or supplier info from this event, please let us know. Also, if you have customers or suppliers in this industry that you believe may benefit from locating closer to you in
the Tama County, Iowa area please touch base so we can see if a one-on-one visit can be arranged to help them get access info and connections for their decision-making.
Congratulations to all the Tama County, Iowa food producers
for being a part of Iowa’s continued success in feeding the world.