Ohio agriculture statistics
• Food and agriculture is Ohio’s top industry contributing $105 billion to the economy and providing jobs to one in seven Ohioans.
• Ohio is home to nearly 75,000 farms.
• Ohio farmers grow 200 different kinds of crops and livestock.
• Ohio has 14.3 million acres of land dedicated to agriculture that supports a large food processing industry.
• Ohio ranks first in the nation in Swiss cheese production.
• The U.S. consumes more chicken than anywhere else in the world. In 2015, Ohio poultry farmers raised 80.4 million broilers earning a production value of $242.2 million.
• Beef cattle can be found in all 88 counties in Ohio. State beef producers raised more than 1.2 million cattle and calves in 2015, which earned Ohio a production value worth more than $713 million.
• Corn is Ohio’s second most valuable crop. In 2015, farmers harvested more than 498.7 million bushels of corn for grain. Corn for grain earned the state nearly $1.9 billion in production value.
• Eggs are an important part of Ohio’s economy. Poultry farmers in the state earned more than $1.2 billion in production value from more than 9.3 billion eggs in 2015. That’s equivalent to 776.2 million dozen-sized cartons.
• Ohio’s greenhouse and nursery industry is booming. In 2014, Ohio’s horticulture farmers earned $392 million in sales. Ohio ranks No. 5 nationally in sales of floriculture.
• Ohio ranks 8th in the nation in hog inventory. State hog farmers produced 2.5 million hogs in 2015, which earned a production value of more than $618.1 million.
• Ohio’s dairy producers are embracing robotic milking systems with more than 40 installations across the state. In 2015, dairy farms earned a production value of $983.2 million with more than 5.4 billion pounds of milk.
• Ohio soybeans earned more than $2 billion in 2015 with 237 million bushels, making the crop Ohio’s highest earning commodity by far. At least 26 percent of the state’s crop area is planted with soybeans.
• Ohio’s poultry farmers produced 5.2 million pounds of turkey in 2015 earning $169.5 million in production value.
• Ohio leads the nation in production of soft red winter wheat, which is used to make cookies, cakes and more. The state’s wheat farmers harvested more than 32.1 million bushels in 2015, earning a production value of more than $147.9 million.
— From the Ohio Department of Agriculture
TIPP CITY — In recognition of Ohio Ag Week, which celebrates the state’s largest industry, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels made a stop at a dairy facility in Tipp City on Wednesday, March 15.
Daniels toured the Purple Cow Creamery, the dairy production facility at the Meijer Distribution Center. The facility, which opened in August 2015, is one of Meijer’s six dairy facilities and their first in the state of Ohio.
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), agriculture is the state’s largest industry, contributing $105 billion to the economy and employing one out of every seven Ohio workers.
“A lot of people say, ‘That can’t be right, there’s not that many people planting seeds.’ And there’s not. But stop and look at the people here who are producing the milk products, stop and think about the truckers that are bringing that milk product in here to be processed. It goes on and on,” Daniels said. “Whether you live in a large urban area or a small rural area, agriculture’s part of your daily life.”
Receiving an average of 10 tanker-loads of raw milk every day, the facility pasteurizes and processes liquid milk, creamer, juices, and teas for sale in Meijer stores throughout the region. Purple Cow Creamery plans to begin producing cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt this year. Production may also grow to include ice cream in the future.
The milk is sourced from farms in a 100 mile radius and is one of Meijer’s largest suppliers of liquid milk, plant manager Ted Johannssen said.
“Right now, we primarily service Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and part of the Michigan market for conventional milk,” Johannssen said. Meijer has stores in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Wisconsin.
The Tipp City facility and another production plant in Holland, Mich., supply liquid milk to all of the Meijer stores, Johannssen said. He added that he expects that the Tipp City facility will expand to surpass the larger plant in Holland within 10 years.
The facility broke ground in August 2014 and was producing milk for sale in August 2015.
“It’s pretty impressive getting this up and operating in a year,” Daniels said. “I’m extremely impressed with the technology being used here.”
Dave Mengel, of the ODA’s Dairy Division, added that the facility has the most modern ultra-high-temperature (UHT) processing system in the state.
Quality manager Teresa Mumford led a tour of the entire facility, from raw milk intake and plastic container production, to quality assurance laboratories. The tour also looked in on the filling room.
“There’s nothing more high tech than food manufacturing. There just isn’t,” Daniels said.
Daniels also made stops at a family farm in Marietta, as well as the Hocking Hills Winery in Logan. More stops are planned for the rest of the week, including a visit to the facility that makes Dum Dum Suckers in Bryan.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.