Missouri’s Unique Food and Ag Industry 

Nearly 100,000 farms make up Missouri’s uniquely diverse agriculture landscape, growing everything from rice, cotton, soybeans, corn, and sorghum, to raising cattle, turkeys, and hogs. The midwestern state has gained the attention of  top food companies and agriculture innovation businesses from around the world. Growing food and ag businesses see Missouri’s unique ecosystem of trained workers, diverse farming, and innovation communities as an opportunity for continued growth. 

Missouri’s $94 billion agriculture industry contributed $34.9 billion in GDP to Missouri’s economy while supporting nearly half a million jobs in 2021 alone. Its food industry boasts nearly 500 companies and employs nearly 50,000 people in Missouri. 

Missouri is also the global leader in agtech, with innovative technology and research that is transforming agriculture. The state’s crop and livestock diversity, abundant water supply, and rich soil provide a solid foundation for companies to grow and succeed.

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American Foods Group broke ground on a new $800 million, 775,000-square-foot beef processing plant in Warren County in 2022. The new plant is expected to bring over 1,300 new jobs with an annual payroll of $80 million, making an estimated $1 billion annual economic impact in Missouri.

Benson Hill Biosystems opened a new 47,000-square-foot innovation facility in St. Louis in 2021 to expand its ability to test and develop plant-based food and ingredients products.

Ostara broke ground on a new fertilizer production facility in St. Louis in 2022. The new facility represents more than $17 million in capital investment and is expected to create 40 new jobs in the region.

“St. Louis was a natural choice for Ostara to construct its newest and largest manufacturing facility that will produce our environmentally friendly Crystal Green® fertilizer. As we gear up production over the next year, we’re partnering with the St. Louis community and Missouri businesses to continue our mission to produce a sustainable phosphorus soil health solution that will enhance crop yields while protecting water sources across the globe.”

Dan Parmar

Chief Executive Officer at Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies

Swift Prepared Foods, a subsidiary of leading global food company JBS USA, opened Principe Foods, which produces high-quality Italian meats and charcuterie, in Columbia in 2023. The company invested more than $200 million in the new 325,000 sq. ft. facility in Missouri. Principe Foods has already created 100 new jobs in the region, with plans to hire 100 to 200 more.


Innovation and collaboration is happening statewide at places such as the Danforth Plant Science Center, the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, the Missouri State University Center for Grapevine Biotechnology in Mountain Grove, MRIGlobal, and the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri. The stateis also home to 20+ ag incubators and numerous accelerators and coworking spaces.

Learn more about Missouri’s Food and Beverage industry
Learn more about Missouri’s Agtech industry