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Economic contribution of Minnesota's beef industry

Key findings for communities

  • In 2015, Minnesota’s beef industry generated an estimated $4.9 billion of economic activity in the state.
  • The biggest benefits from the beef industry occurred in Minnesota’s trucking, agricultural feed (hay, alfalfa, and grain), and wholesale trade industries (including agricultural elevators and cooperatives).
  • In 2015, Minnesota’s beef industry supported an estimated 47,300 full and part-time jobs in the state. The industry also supported 16,900 jobs in non-beef related industries.
  • In 2015, cattle and calf production accounted for 27 percent of Minnesota’s cash receipts from livestock. In terms of cash receipts in the state, beef cattle were second only to hogs and had higher cash receipts than dairy and poultry.

About this study

The Minnesota Beef Council contracted with University of Minnesota Extension to conduct an economic contribution study of the Minnesota beef industry. There are more than 16,000 registered beef operations in Minnesota, but little data exists showing the industry’s economic impact. This analysis found the beef industry contributes $4.9 billion and 47,300 jobs to Minnesota’s economy. Understanding this economic impact is valuable for future planning.

There are more than 16,000 beef operations in Minnesota. In 2015, Minnesota was home to 350,000 beef cows that had calved. In addition, the state had 385,000 cattle on feed or animals fed for future processing. More than 537,000 cattle were harvested and processed.

In 2015, a major Minnesota beef processing plant closed. As demonstrated from this analysis, beef processing contributes significantly to the economy. A lack of processing for fed cattle represents a lost opportunity in Minnesota’s economy.

Keywords: Economic Impact Analysis

More about this report

Read full report (PDF)

Author(s)

Brigid Tuck, Extension senior economic impact analyst

Reviewed in 2017

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