AgTech and Food Innovation

Growing AgTech and Food Innovation in Lansing

The Lansing region’s central location and existing agriculture industry is ripe with strategic growth opportunities for companies in the processing industries and realms of agricultural technology (AgTech) & FoodTech

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Keith Lambert
Chief Operating Officer

Booming Dairy Processing

The Lansing region has a long strong history of dairy processing, largely thanks to the Michigan Milk Producers (MMPA). MMPA’s largest processing facilities are anchored in Ovid and manufacture milk powders, creams and butters, in addition to liquid milk.

Lansing is also the long-time home of Quality Dairy (QD), a vertically integrated convenience store chain with its dairy plant, bakery and injection plastic molding facilities all in Lansing. QD’s dairy plant distributes milk from local dairy farms to its 30 retail stores daily, and also produces flavored milks, juices, fruit drinks, chip dip and ice cream.

Though the state of Michigan, including the Lansing region, can claim the most productive cows in the nation, the more than 1,500 dairy farm families around the state have been suffering from low prices caused by immense productivity gains per cow since 2000. This high productivity created an oversupply, resulting in depressed prices. This issue with oversupply can be resolved by bringing more processing to the area.

In September of 2018, Glanbia broke ground on a 146 acre property in St. Johns, the future home of the MWC and Proliant Michigan dairy processing campus, designed to process 8 million pounds of milk every day from the onset, or nearly a quarter of all milk produced in Michigan. MWC, a joint venture partnership between Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Select Milk Producers, is investing $460 million into these new state-of-the-art facilities to produce a variety of cheese and whey protein products. Glanbia is Ireland’s 5th largest company, and the world’s #1 producer of American-style cheddar cheese.


Private Investment
$470M (Glanbia) + $85M (Proliant)


Private Jobs Created


But it does not end there! Based on MWC’s intentions, a supplier partnership emerged with Iowa-based Proliant Dairy Ingredients to establish facilities of their own adjacent to MWC, which would take the dairy solids byproduct from Glanbia and process it into various whey permeate products used in baking, confectionery, drink mixes, and animal feed.

Existing Industry

The Lansing market is home to a strong and growing cluster of innovative food processing, distribution, and production companies and facilities, as well as traditional agricultural commodity supplies.

Agriculture and food contributes approximately $450 million each year to our local economy and provides more than 5,000 jobs to our residents. The conventional agriculture industry is be bolstered by new food processing operations that add tremendous value to Michigan’s economy, and a growing number of AgTech companies providing technology-driven solutions for the agriculture and food processing industries are growing their presence in the Lansing region.

Allen Neighborhood Center
Community Organization
10 Lansing employees
Food & Beverage
MSU Dairy Store
Dairy Processing, Packaging
Canada Dry Bottling Company of Lansing
32 Lansing employees
Plastic Bottling
QDC Plastic Container Company
50-99 Lansing employees
Plastics, Downstream Chemicals
Meijer Distribution Center
1000 Lansing employees
Food & Beverage, Packaging
Munters Aerotech
75 Lansing employees
MSU Food Processing Innovation Center
5 Lansing employees
Food & Beverage, Packaging
Citizens Elevator
30 Lansing employees
100-249 Lansing employees
Martin Brower
4 Lansing employees
Logistics, Food
Glanbia/Spartan Michigan
259 Lansing employees
Dairy Processing
Proliant Dairy Ingredients
38 Lansing employees
Dairy Processing
Michigan Milk Producers Association
50-99 Lansing employees
AgTech, Dairy Processing
Uncle John’s Cider Mill
70 Lansing employees
Showing all 14 locations

The AgTech Opportunity

Beyond the actual production and processing of various food products, digital transformation and technology-driven innovation is creating new opportunities across the agricultural value chain just like in many other industries. Our existing industry is no slouch in this area.

Agroliquid logo

AgroLiquid, a leading provider of advanced crop fertility products, has been headquartered in the Lansing region since its founding in 1963, with a huge focus on research and development in the sustainable fertilizer space and a devotion to both respecting an agricultural heritage and innovating into the future with their approach to cultivating talent and new products alike.

Neogen Logo

Neogen Corporation is a food safety and biotech company with over 1,500 employees worldwide and nearly $400 million in annual revenue, constituting business in 114 countries. Neogen makes products geared toward every piece of the food industry imaginable. Headquartered in Lansing, about half of the company’s total employment is located here across a number of manufacturing, research & development and office facilities. Neogen has continuously opted to invest millions into rehabilitating old obsolete buildings in Lansing’s urban core and has been a dynamic community partner in that way.

Janny MT US logo

JMT US is the US subsidiary of Janny MT, a French AgTech company that manufactures controlled atmosphere and airtight storage equipment that drastically extend freshness of fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, nuts, and other perishable product. JMT US landed in Lansing in 2015 with a pilot project involving Michigan State University apples. In 2018, the company launched distribution services, and is continuing to build supply chain components and their customer base across the country with Lansing as their home base.

Talent Ecosystem


Students in MSU College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Food-related Programs

Michigan State University Logo


MSU is a historical land grant agricultural college offering numerous world-leading programs, as well as both agricultural and biotech research opportunities. Additional 2-year agricultural technology programs, with food processing curriculum, are in the works.


Top Supply Chain Program in the US and Worldwide


Packaging Program in the US

Over 4,000 students in College of Agriculture & Natural Resources studying:

  • Agribusiness Management
  • Animal Science
  • Biosystems Engineering
  • Dietetics
  • Food Industry Management
  • Food Safety
  • Food Science
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Packaging
  • Supply Chain Management

Nearly 500 in the Institute of Agricultural Technology’s 2-year programs:

  • Agricultural Industries
  • Dairy Management
  • Electrical Technology
  • Fruit, Vegetable & Organic Horticulture Management
  • Horse Management
  • Livestock Management
  • Sports & Commercial Turf Management

Biological/Agricultural Engineering Program in US


Production/Operation Management Program in US

Local Food Ecosystem


Number of Farmers Markets in the Lansing Region

The Lansing region has 18 farmers’ markets across Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties. Most operate seasonally, but some like the Allen Farmer’s Market, are open year round.

Research, Product Development and Commercialization
  • MSU Product Center
  • MSU Food Processing Innovation Center
  • MSU Extension

M-21 AgTech Corridor

The M-21 AgTech Corridor strives to support agtech investment by leveraging the rich agriculture and proximity to world-class amenities that supports innovation in Michigan. The corridor includes Clinton, Ionia and Shiawassee counties, located north of Lansing and between Grand Rapids and Flint.