Agri-business continues as a viable economic sector in Mason County, with large-scale business operations in farming, processing and manufacturing and the packaging and distribution of products. The natural resources of our region support the development of this cluster:
NOTABLE LUDINGTON AGRI-BUSINESSES
Ludington is home to a wide variety of top regional, national and global agri-businesses. Learn more about the area companies here, by selecting the business name above and visiting their individual websites for more information about their operations and company history/establishment in the Ludington area.
CherrCo, Inc. strives to maximize the long-term financial return to the North American tart cherry industry by: Stabilizing prices of processed tart cherry products, providing risk management tools to cooperative members, strategic application of cooperative funds. CherrCo is made up of 23 grower cooperatives located throughout North America.
Learn more at: cherrco.com
Gourmet Mushrooms Inc. grows more varieties of organic culinary and nutraceutical mushrooms than any farm in America. We harvest eight varieties of organic specialty mushrooms for America’s finest restaurants, specialty food wholesalers and gourmet grocers. Our mycelial biomass and tinctures are valued for nutraceutical compounding by manufacturers worldwide.
Learn more at: gourmetmushroomsinc.com
Our state of the art manufacturing plant allows us to produce premium quality, quick-frozen, super-hard ice cream, ready to ship, within 6 hours. We can fill an order, from receipt of that order through production, packaging and preparation for shipping in an amazingly short period of time. Usually 7 days or less!
Learn more at: houseofflavors.com
Indian Summer-brand apple juice and apple sauce is pressed, packaged and shipped from Indian Summer Cooperative — 3958 West Chauvez Road in Ludington. The products, made 100 percent from U.S. apples, are available locally on supermarket shelves and throughout the Midwest. Some of the products made at the cooperative, which is owned by area fruit growers, are shipped as far away as Puerto Rico and under different private labels, such as for Spartan Stores or Meijer’s store brand, to name two.
Categorized under Feeder Grains. Our records show it was established in 1993 and incorporated in Michigan. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of 170000 and employs a staff of approximately 2.
WHY AGRI-BUSINESS IN MASON COUNTY?
- A unique combination of soil, climate and weather patterns has created one of the most diverse agricultural sectors in the nation.
- Surrounded by 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, Michigan’s water abundance also makes it a natural choice for large-scale farming and food processing.
- Woods and fields help with water infiltration, maintaining biological diversity, and providing habitat for wildlife.
- Property owners have coordinated the retention of green space connections to create ecological corridors, enhance recreation, and provide a more continuous natural scenic view.
- Rivers, streams and lakes have buffer plantings that help protect water quality.
The Mason County Region is situated in West Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline with easy access to the major metropolitan areas in Michigan and the Midwest Region. Driving distances to the larger metro areas are as follows:
Grand Rapids 1hr 28min | Traverse City 1hr 50 min | Chicago 3hr 47min | Detroit 3hr 36 min
Mason County has a long and rich Agricultural history. Much of Mason County is still rural farm land, and many centennial farms grace the right-of-way on many of the major thoroughfares in the region. Today, the “Agri-Business” in Mason County is not limited to only farms and fields, but manufacturing and food production is a leading industry.
The Northern Michigan climate makes for one of the most diverse growing areas in the Country. In fact, Michigan is a national leader in agricultural production. Thanks to our four season climate, abundant access to water, and rich soil, we are able to sustain hundreds of species of crops.
Simply put, with how rural this region is, we have some of the best trucking, shipping and rail access into and out of the county for manufacturing and agricultural ventures. Thanks to direct access to Class A highways to the south and east, we have excellent surface road access. It does not stop there, we also have one of Michigan’s largest rail networks serving the region. If that isn’t enough, we also have a deep water port with direct access to Great Lakes Shipping and Lake Michigan.
The current agri-business sectors that make up the farms in Mason County are located to the north and southeastern portions of the county. With abundant, nutrient-rich lands available, it makes for ideal growing conditions.
AGRI-BUSINESS BY THE NUMBERS
# of Farms = 440
Farming Land = 79,048 acres
Average Size of Farm = 180 acres
Average Farm Value: $52,207
Family Owned Farms: 90.6%
Average Crop Value/Acre: $362
Market Value of Products Sold $52,881,000 (53% increase over 2007)
Crops = $31,689,000 (60%)
Livestock = $21,191,000 (40%)
Average per Farm $120,183
Total Government Subsides = $828,000
Average per farm receiving payments = $6,962
Top Producing Crops
Corn (8,537 harvested acres)
Vegetables (5,639 acres)
Orchard Crops (5,198 acres)
Wheat/Grain (3,727 acres)
Soybeans (2,606 acres)
Opportunities in the Agri-Business Cluster in Mason County
Get involved with the Mason County Growth Alliance and we can guide and direct you on a successful agricultural business venture in Mason County. We have identified business growth and opportunities in the following business categories:
- Agricultural Production and Technology
- Wildlife Management
- Farmers Markets/Farm to Table
- Destination Weddings
WHY AGRI-BUSINESS IS ON THE RISE IN MICHIGAN…
Michigan is a leader in producing many foods, from blueberries to bell peppers, but an important strategy in growing the state’s food economy is gaining market share with food processing opportunities. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ON HOW MICHIGAN IS A LEADER IN AGRI-BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
Pioneers in Specialty Mushroom Cultivation
Gourmet Mushrooms Inc. of Scottville grows more varieties of organic culinary and nutraceutical mushrooms than any farm in America. The company started in California in 1977, and expanded to Michigan in 2015, grows several varieties of mushrooms, including the sought-after maitake mushroom — better known to local mushroom pickers as “Chicken of the Woods.”
Gourmet Mushrooms brought the maitake to Scottville, where it is grown along with six other varieties — including morels — for the fresh food market and the health supplement market. The company’s plan for plant expansion will make it the second-largest business in Scottville, employing over 80 full-time employees.