Could Michigan become the epicenter of the Midwest food supply chain?
A survey of ag economists reports COVID-19 has amplified how Michigan agriculture has the opportunity to shorten supply chains and become a powerhouse for local and regional food demand.
Ag economist Trey Malone with Michigan State University tells Brownfield the state has the largest land base and ag diversity in the Midwest, which positions Michigan differently when it comes to consumer demand.
“We have all of these unique characteristics that create an opportunity for us to think a little bit differently about market demand than places like Indiana, Illinois, or Iowa.”
Economists suggest Michigan’s location makes it comparable to wholesome food branding from New Zealand and Ireland. Water access in the Great Lakes state is also seen to be increasingly important with a changing climate.
The survey also highlighted the importance of trade, agritourism and challenges the pandemic has made for agriculture.