Food Processing

Like many counties in the Midwest and northern Indiana, Marshall County has a long history in agricultural production. According to the 2012 Census of Agricultural, Marshall County is home to 878 farms with an average size of 235 acres. A total of 206,306 acres (74%) of all the land in the county is in farmland, of which 181,845 acres is productive cropland. Such a large amount of cropland within Marshall County and the region makes the county a prime location for food processing industries. 
 
In addition to a large amount of cropland and accessibility to raw materials, Marshall County also has an established and educated workforce in the food processing industries, a strong work ethic, low labor costs, low property taxes, low energy costs, access to markets, excellent transportation links, a pro-business climate with good labor management relations, and an available water capacity to support such businesses. These advantages make Marshall County a prime location for food processing business to thrive.
 
Marshall County is home to several food processing businesses, as well as a large agricultural seed research facility and wholesaler. 
 
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), there were 7 businesses in the food manufacturing sector in 2016. Below is a listing of the major employers in this sector:
 
Major Employers in Food Processing
ProductEstimated Full Time Employees
Zentis Food Solutions North America, LLC
Food Processing / Fruit Preparations for Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Bakeries
205
DuPont, Pioneer
Agricultural Seed Research & Wholesaler
80
Pretzels, Inc.
Food Processing / Bulk Pretzel Production
69
   Source: MCEDC Database - 2017
 
The following table shows the top five occupations within the food processing industry and the average annual wages. These occupations total over one-third of all occupations within this sector.    
 
Food Processing Top Occupations
Average Annual Wages* - May 2016
Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders $30,500
Food batchmakers
$27,730
Packers and packages, hand
$23,920
Slaughterers and meat packers
$31,090
Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers
$27,140
            Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics
            * The data is for the northeast Indiana area non-metropolitan area, which includes
            Marshall County. 
 
According to 2016 QCEW data, the total number of jobs in all occupations in this sector is 590 with an average annual wage of $46,956.