Ohio Has the Right Ingredients to Grow Successful Food and Agribusiness Companies
Today’s consumers are increasingly demanding healthier, high-quality food. In Ohio, food and agribusiness companies can deliver that farm-to-table freshness consumers want thanks to the state’s combination of assets and resources.
Food and agribusiness is the largest industry in Ohio, contributing approximately $15 billion to the state’s GSP and about $107 billion to the state’s economy. Nearly 1,200 food and agribusiness establishments in the state cultivate, process, package, distribute and market food and drinks enjoyed by consumers around the world. This end-to-end value chain, combined with the state’s other assets, create a recipe for success in Ohio.
Ohio is home to 74,000 farms and 14 million acres producing everything from corn, eggs, wheat and soybeans to beef, pork, turkey and dairy products. We also have commodity processing facilities, food manufacturing and packaging plants, distributors and cold storage facilities as well as the retailers that sell and the customers who purchase the food and beverage products made across the state. Regardless of where they are in the supply chain, food and agribusiness companies can get what they need right here in Ohio, including access to some of the industry’s leading companies that have their headquarters in Ohio.
Companies in Ohio also benefit from the state’s central location and proximity to U.S. markets as well as its versatile and integrated transportation infrastructure. Companies can access customers and suppliers easily and cost effectively using Ohio’s interstates, railroads, commercial airports and inland water ports.
What you may not know is the abundant innovation happening within this industry. Several corporate and academic research and development (R&D) centers are located in Ohio, offering companies the chance to work with and learn from industry leaders. The Center for Innovative Food Technology and the Ohio State University Wilbur A. Gould Food Industries Center, for example, both partner with private industry, providing resources and assistance for research and product development, among other things. At the same time, companies including Nestle, Smucker’s and Abbott have significant R&D operations in Ohio.
Ohio has other advantages, too. We have abundant fresh water and lots of low-cost natural gas, resources that are crucial to food and ag companies. Our costs for energy, payroll, taxes, transportation and rent can be up to 20 percent lower than comparable locations, making Ohio a more affordable option. We have more than 68,000 people working in our food and agribusiness industry and a pipeline of well-trained talent coming from some of the best agricultural training programs in the country, including OSU’s Agricultural Technical Institute.
When you work in the food and agribusiness industry, it’s hard not to use food-related puns every now and then, especially when they’re the most fitting way to convey something. But there’s really no better way to say that Ohio has the right ingredients to grow successful food and agribusiness companies.
The I 70 / 75 Economic Development Summit on May 30 will feature Heather E. McGowan is an internationally known speaker, writer, and advisor. McGowan prepares leaders to most-effectively react to rapid and disruptive changes in education, work, and society. As a Future of Work Strategist, Heather has worked with diverse teams to address these challenges.read more
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