Our region’s rich and fertile soil, low agricultural land costs, and strong ethic to protect and preserve our agricultural roots has created a thriving industry cluster of advanced agriculture operations. The cluster extends from high-quality and sustainable food production to efficient food processing and distribution, including baked goods, beer and other beverages. Many of our partners have invested significantly in the growing organic food industry, which in turn has positively impacted our community health and sustainability.
Our region has over 85 food processing manufacturers, a nationally renowned organic farming industry, 12,000 farms and 1.7 million acres in agriculture assessed lands. This provides great opportunities for joint ventures between suppliers, manufacturers, transporters, retailers and consumers.The State of Wisconsin is one of the nation’s largest producers of milk and cheese, and the farms located in the Mississippi River Region make it one of the largest dairy producing regions in the state.
Our joint venture initiatives are also often supported by regional economic development organizations and educational institutions because of the importance agriculture and food processing play in our regional economy.
FRAN is a network of agribusinesses working together to improve the competitive advantage of our businesses and the economy of our region. It is a geographic concentration of similar companies that share common technology, markets, suppliers or workforce skills in western Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota and northeast Iowa. FRAN provides a platform to address common opportunities and synergies that exist among regional food processing and agribusiness companies:
- Collaboration of common resources and efforts
- Workforce and skills enhancement opportunities
- Networking among both large and small companies
- Cost saving initiatives in non competitive areas
- Leveraging common efficiency gains
- Promoting the economic importance of the food industry in this region
- Maintaining a strong community
- Exploring joint venture opportunities
- Promoting environmental sustainability
- Continual improvement and innovative idea generation