Food ProcessingLike 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 specializing in fruit preparations for yogurt, ice cream, and bakery manufacturers, vegetable and fruit canning, and pickle processing. A large agricultural seed research facility and wholesaler is also located in the county. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), there were 6 businesses in the food manufacturing sector in 2014. Below is a listing of the top 4 major employers in this sector, including the product manufactured and the estimated number of full time employees: Major Employers in Food Processing Product Zentis Food Solutions North America, LLC Food Processing / Fruit Preparations for Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Bakeries Del Monte Corporation Food Processing / Vegetable and Fruit Canning Bay Valley Foods, LLC Fruit & Vegetable Canning / Pickle Manufacturing Pioneer HI-Bred International, Inc. Agricultural Seed Research & Wholesaler Source: MCEDC Database - Employment Numbers Updated October 2014 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 2014 Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders $29,310 Food batchmakers $33,080 Packers and packages, hand $24,740 Slaughterers and meat packers $26,220 Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers $27,290 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 2014 QCEW data, the total number of jobs in all occupations in this sector is 562 with an average annual wage of $43,180.