Agbioscience industry creates $2 billion annual economic impact in Central Minnesota

Agbioscience is a critical component of Central Minnesota’s past and future. A new research report shows that in one year alone agbioscience supported $2 billion in economic impact—four percent of the region’s total economic output. And with the right steps and action, agbioscience could drive additional long-term prosperity in this region of the state—potentially growing to $3.1 billion in economic output in 2016.

Agbioscience is the fusion of agriculture and the associated biosciences that encompasses agricultural innovation, research, and processing. It is the focus of a new report “Economic Contribution of the Agbioscience Industry: Central Minnesota.” The research was cosponsored by the Initiative Foundation serving Central Minnesota and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. It was conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Extension Center for Community Vitality.

Agbioscience in the region is based primarily in food production and wood and paper manufacturing. The contribution of the agbioscience industry in Central Minnesota is strongest in the industries of wholesale trade, grain farming, dairy cattle and milk production, and electric power.

“This research report helps us understand the impact agriculture and the associated biosciences have on our region’s economy,” says Kathy Gaalswyk, president of the Initiative Foundation. “We look forward to continued discussions with our business and community leaders about ways to utilize this information for targeted economic development.”

Key findings for Central Minnesota include:

  • In 2013, agbioscience companies in the region directly created an estimated $2 billion of economic output in the region.
  • Of four agbioscience platforms identified as part of the agbioscience industry in Minnesota, the value-added food and health products platform dominates in the Central region. Businesses in the platform produced $1.1 billion in output.
  • Together, production agriculture and agbioscience companies created 10 percent of the output of the region.
  • In 2013, Central Minnesota’s agbioscience industry employed 3,364 workers and paid an estimated $246.6 million in salaries, wages and benefits.

The report on Central Minnesota is part of a statewide effort funded by the Initiative Foundations and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute to assess the impact agbioscience has on the state. These efforts grew out of a previous report by the renowned Battelle Technology Partnership Practice that found agbioscience to be a critical strength and opportunity for the state. The Battelle report also suggested a strategy for the state to build on these strengths.

That initial research was commissioned by the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.

“Agbioscience presents an opportunity to create long-term prosperity in Minnesota. To do that, collaborative action needs to be taken. By working with Minnesota’s Initiative Foundations we can better understand Minnesota’s regional strengths and identify next steps that will help turn our historical strength in agriculture into a robust future,” says the Institute’s Chief Programming Officer Jen Wagner-Lahr.

>Read the full report Economic Contribution of the Agbioscience Industry in Central Minnesota