Our Agriculture Sector is Vital in Benton County

Our Agriculture Sector is Vital in Benton County Main Photo

5 Apr 2023


Spring is the perfect time to recognize the importance agriculture plays in the economy of Benton County, Minnesota. Ag Day was nationally celebrated on March 21st, marking its 50th anniversary. 

This year’s theme was “Growing a climate for tomorrow” to recognize agriculture's important role in mitigating climate change and promoting sustainable practices to protect our planet for future generations. It also highlights the importance of innovation and technology in agriculture, such as precision agriculture, drones, and artificial intelligence, that can help farmers optimize their operations and reduce their environmental impact.

Benton County Agriculture

Benton County's agriculture includes both crop and livestock production. Plentiful water and a prime location along the Mississippi River provide the natural resources our farmers need. Corn, soybeans, potatoes, and kidney beans are the primary crops grown in the county, but there are also many fruit and vegetable growers and small farms. Agriculture employs 5.5 percent of Benton County’s workers. 

Anna Bregier of Prairie Farms and Mark Czech of Roadside Acres discuss why Benton County is well-suited for agricultural success, highlighting abundant water resources, affordable land, and sustainability:

The impact of agriculture on the economy extends beyond the fields. Other careers branch out from the sector, including engineers, agronomists, plant breeders, foresters, veterinarians, agriscience teachers, climate specialists, food scientists, nutritionists, and many more.

According to USDA, the demand for college graduates with degrees related to agriculture continues to grow. This includes job opportunities in management and business, such as marketers, financial advisors, credit analysts, business consultants, insurance managers, and e-commerce specialists.

Minnesota Agriculture

According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota ranks No. 7 in total agriculture production among all U.S. states, totaling $213 billion in agricultural marketing and accounting for 5 percent of U.S. farm cash receipts. Minnesota is the 4th largest agricultural exporting state in the U.S., totaling $9.3 billion.

Drilling down into specifics, Minnesota is:

  • #5 in crops overall ($12.9 billion) 
  • #1 in sugar beets, oats, wild rice, red kidney beans
  • #2 in sweet corn, green peas
  • #3 in soybeans, dry beans, sunflower
  • #4 in corn, canola
  • #6 in harvested acres of principal crops
  • #7 in barley
  • #9 in wheat, potatoes, snap beans


  • #7 in livestock overall ($8.4 billion)
  • #1 in turkeys raised
  • #2 in hogs
  • #6 in red meat, cheese, honey
  • #7 in milk, mink pelts, mohair
  • #8 in cattle on teed

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has dozens of loan and grant programs. Explore the options here.

Benton Economic Partnership

In addition to supporting our Ag Industry, Benton Economic Partnership eases the process for business owners and site selectors to find a site, obtain permits, construct a facility, and hire and train a workforce. We understand development and can assist in the entire process. Contact us to learn more at 320-968-6197 or email us here. 

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