Food Processing Add to ReportLike 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 Production69 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.