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University of Minnesota Extension

Economic contribution of the agbioscience industry in Greater Minnesota

Key findings for communities

  • Agbioscience businesses in Greater Minnesota directly produced an estimated $16.6 billion in output during 2013. The businesses employed an estimated 22,760 workers, paying $1.8 billion in compensation.
  • In 2013, the agbioscience industry, through its total effects, supported an estimated $23.4 billion of economic activity in Greater Minnesota. The industry supported an estimated 63,753 jobs, including $3.7 billion in labor income.
  • In 2013, Twin Cities-based agbioscience businesses supported $12.5 billion in output, including $3.4 billion in labor income and 42,960 jobs in the 7-county metro region.

About this study

University of Minnesota Extension recently completed a study of the economic contribution of the agbioscience industry in Greater Minnesota. The study builds on the work of Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, which defined agbioscience and identified four platforms for additional investment and development. Agbioscience, in this report, includes components of the manufacturing, wholesale trade, and professional and business services industries. It does not include production agriculture. 

The agbioscience industry has relatively high effects on its supplying industries. Industry ripples impact employment in agricultural production (sugar beets, grain, dairy and milk production, and oilseeds), wholesale trade, trucking, and care for physical infrastructure. Spending by employees of agbioscience businesses creates economic activity in both the health care and housing markets.

In terms of total industry size, agbioscience is largest in the southern region of the state. The Southeast and Southwest regions combined account for 65 percent of Greater Minnesota’s agbioscience output. The Northeast region, while a smaller percentage of Greater Minnesota’s agbioscience industry, has a similar share of its regional output derived from agbioscience.

The Twin Cities area also benefited from the presence of Greater Minnesota’s agbioscience industry. In 2013, the industry in Greater Minnesota supported an estimated $3.2 billion of economic activity in the metro, including an estimated 15,060 jobs. Jobs supported by the industry are focused on business operations, including corporate headquarters, advertising, and engineering and architectural services.

The microbial agbioscience platform supported an estimated $4.9 billion in output, 14,905 jobs, and $786.0 million in labor income in 2013. Employment grew by 15 percent between 2003 and 2013. The Southeast has the largest share of the platform’s output, primarily due to soybean processing. It was also the fastest growing region, with employment in the region growing by 37 percent.

More about this report

Read full report (PDF)


Brigid Tuck, Senior Economic Impact Analyst, Extension; Neil Linscheid, Educator, Extension

Reviewed in 2015

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