Agricultural & Food Processing

LaGrange County's roots lie in the agricultural industries. Being a rural county with plenty of farmland makes agriculture and food processing an industry that is essential to LaGrange County. Northeast Indiana is home to almost 20% of the farms in Indiana, while being comprised of only 12% of the state’s land mass. Not only is there plenty of farmland in Indiana, but the state also ranks 10th in the U.S. for low cost energy rates and has abundant access to water, with available water capacity ranging from five million to 25 million gallons per day. LaGrange County’s 67 freshwater lakes are a key component to this figure.  See the following links for information on LaGrange County's access to water and our aquifer systems.     
 
From having the largest number of certified organic farms in Indiana to our commodity production, LaGrange County is synonymous with agriculture and food processing. According to the USDA-NASS 2012 Census of Agriculture, LaGrange County had 204,092 acres of farmland, of which 147,420 acres is devoted to crop productions. Our average farm size is only 84 acres, which gives food produced by LaGrange County farmers more of a local feel and our producers a real connection to their craft. Our 2012 market value for crop and livestock sales totaled just over $262,563,000. LaGrange County also has arguably the most diverse crop production in Indiana, producing amongst other things feed corn, sweet corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, oats, cucumbers, and gladiolas. Lord's Seed/Lord's Grain, a large agricultural operation based in northern LaGrange County accounts for approximately 1% of all of the seed corn raised in the United States. Additionally, LaGrange County is the second largest producer of ducks in the nation, and is the largest horse producer in the state.

You could aruge that the 'localvore' movement and shifts towards organic foods was made for LaGrange County! Gunthorp Farms supplies meats, including pork, chicken, turkey, and ducks to some of the finest restaurants in the midwest, Yoder Meat & Cheese are retailers who also own and operate a 4th generation farm that raises natural, hormone free Limousin/Angus beef providing wholesome goodness from the farm, Cook's Bison Ranch raises and supplies bison meat for the health conscious consumer to numerous high quality restaurants and specialty food shops,  Guggisberg/Deutsch Kase Haus cheeses are recognized worldwide for their high quality, Snax in Pax produces caramel corn and fudge that rivals your grandma's, and Yoder Popcorn and Arrowhead Popcorn produces old fashioned popcorn the way you remember it, and are amongst our many agricultural and food processors. Additionally, Abbott Laboratories has a large manufacturing plant that produces both Similac baby formula and Ensure beverages amongst other products just north of our community of Howe (in Sturgis, MI, about 3 miles from the state line).
 
Our workforce is ideal for companies in the agricultural and food processing industry because of the hard-working and attentive values found amongst the citizens of LaGrange County.
 
Click here to see a profile of food processing/agri-business in LaGrange County.
 
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