Agriculture, Food & Beverage

With its robust capacity for agriculture, food & beverage production, the Madison Region is often referred to as the breadbasket of the world.

The Madison Region boasts some of the richest agricultural soils in the world, and the largest agriculture employment bases in the state with nearly 60,000 jobs directly related to agriculture, comprising 20% of Wisconsin’s total agricultural employment. Our industry infrastructure supports not only food & beverage production, but also processing, packaging, and distribution. Several food-related incubators throughout the region support a growing cadre of local entrepreneurs, while established companies thrive thanks to our strong industry assets. Renowned for key products like milk, cheese, and beer, the Madison Region’s agricultural sector will continue to build on existing strengths as well as a tradition of innovation that secures our ongoing competitiveness. Learn more.

Kerry Foods
Hormel Foods
Del Monte
Seneca Foods Corporation
McCain Foods
Colony Brands
Associated Milk Producers

Dairy Product Manufacturing
Animal Food Manufacturing
Fruit & Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food Manufacturing
Animal Processing

417 establishments

60,000 employees

5.1% industry growth from 2010-2015

$34,080 average annual wage

2,975 industry-applicable degrees and certificates conferred in 2014-2015
from higher education institutions in and around the Madison Region

Employment | 2.08
Establishment | 1.48

Source: Emsi 2016.2; Employment figures based on UW-Extension County Impact Reports

Agriculture, Food & Beverage Industry Cluster Analysis
Agriculture, Food & Beverage Industry Cluster Analysis

The Madison Region’s Agriculture, Food & Beverage Industry Cluster Analysis is a comprehensive industry analysis that identifies potential regional comparative advantages and includes information on employment and establishments, support industries and supply chains, human capital, and cluster positioning.

133315_bt_icon_taxesLearn more about the region’s agriculture industry and workforce in this brochure.



  • County Impact Reports published by UW-Extension, Agriculture and Natural Resources provide more information on the economic impact of agriculture in the Madison Region.
  • Contribution of Agriculture to the Wisconsin Economy published by UW-Extension is based on the 2012 Census of Agriculture, and shows the growing importance of agriculture to Wisconsin’s economy.
  • Status of Wisconsin Agriculture published annually by the UW-Madison Department of Agriculture & Applied Economics provide an annual outlook on agriculture in Wisconsin.
  • The Agriculture Industry Page of Job Center of Wisconsin is a one-stop resource for information on agriculture careers, training resources, reports, and more about working in the agriculture industry.