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Agribusiness is a leading economic driver of Pennsylvania’s economy. We are home to diverse industries producing quality products, from lumber and paper to fine instruments and more. With top ranks in dairy, produce, livestock, food manufacturing, hardwoods, and beverages, agribusiness has far-reaching impacts across the state. Whether your company is in specialty food, beverages, farming, manufacturing, lumber, or another related industry, we have the resources and infrastructure to help you succeed.

Agribusiness companies thrive here. Pennsylvania has high production rankings for a variety of manufactured food and hardwoods products. Our total manufactured food output in 2015 was $38.4 billion, and we produce more than one-tenth of the nation’s hardwoods.

Food Industry Facts


The agribusiness industry’s workforce has deep roots in Pennsylvania. With more than 12,400 agribusiness establishments and over 277,800 employees, the agribusiness industry accounts for nearly five percent of employment in the state.

A key component of Pennsylvania’s agribusiness community is its nearly 300 universities and more than 168,000 annual graduates. Our network of schools across the state build our talent pool, work closely with companies to develop new techniques and manufacturing practices, and provide critical research and development capabilities to constantly improve our agribusiness industries.

Industry EmploymentEmployer UnitsPercent of Total PA Jobs
Agriculture and Food Production 170,1397,7903.01
Wood, Wood Products, and Publishing 107,7464,6751.91
TOTAL 277,88512,4654.92


Penn State Extension

The Penn State Extension is an educational network offering Pennsylvanians access to the Penn State University's resources and expertise. The Extension is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state and county governments. Through this county-based partnership, Penn State Extension educators, faculty, and local volunteers work together to share research-based information with local residents. The Extension offers a number of courses and workshops to assist agricultural businesses, from “Crop Insurance Education” to “Social Media and Mobile Technology for Agricultural Businesses.”

University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet) was founded in 1884, and has a longstanding tradition as a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Penn Vet’s Center for Animal Health and Productivity serves the agricultural community by developing innovative animal management tools and strategies for promoting economic efficiency and environmental sustainability. Penn Vet is a member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Companies in PA

Agribusiness companies thrive in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has high production rankings for a variety of manufactured food and hardwoods products. Our total manufactured food output in 2015 was $38.4 billion, and we produce more than one-tenth of the nation’s hardwoods.

Top 6 Agricultural and Food Production Employers

  • Hershey Foods Corporation

    Hershey Foods Corporation (the Hershey Company) is a leading North American manufacturer of quality chocolate and non-chocolate confectionaries headquartered in Hershey, PA.

  • Bimbo Bakeries USA Inc

    Bimbo Bakeries USA is a national leader in baked goods and focuses on providing high-quality breads and sweet baked goods.

  • Hatfield Quality Meats Inc

    Hatfield Quality Meats has specialized in producing pork products for over 110 years using innovative techniques to ensure freshness and quality.

  • UTZ Quality Foods Inc

    UTZ Quality Foods is a third-generation family-owned company producing potato chips and other snack foods in Hanover, PA.

  • Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation

    Cargill Meat Solutions is the umbrella organization of Cargill’s North American beef, turkey, foodservice, and food distribution services.

  • JBS Souderton Inc

    JBS is a leading processor of beef, pork, and lamb in the United States, and the largest cattle feeder in the world.

Top 6 Wood, Wood Products, and Publishing Employers

  • The Procter & Gamble Paper Products Co.

    Procter & Gamble Paper Products is a manufacturer of paper, health care, and hygiene products including toilet tissue, paper towels, and facial tissues.

  • Jeld-Wen Inc

    Jeld-Wen Inc is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of doors and windows and is recognized for their energy-efficient products.

  • Wood Mode Inc

    Wood-Mode Inc manufactures custom-crafted wooden cabinetry.

  • Barnes & Noble Booksellers USA

    Barnes & Noble is the largest retail bookseller in the United States, and a leading retailer of content, digital media, and educational products.

  • Trib Total Media Inc

    Trib Total Media delivers news, information, and advertising in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

  • PH Glatfelter Company

    PH Glatfelter is a global supplier and leading manufacturer of quality printing papers, specialty papers, and engineered and composite fibers.

Resources & Funding

Pennsylvania offers a variety of programs that help agricultural businesses succeed, such as the First Industries Fund, the Next Generation Farmer Loan Program, and the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, which provide funding for agriculture-related projects that develop or promote the industry.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s PAGrows program works with the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) as well as other state and federal entities to provide resources to agricultural businesses and help them understand and access a variety of state and federal financing programs.

PA Preferred

PA Preferred™ became the official marketing brand of Pennsylvania’s agriculture products in 2011, and formally promoted the widespread farmers market mentality inherent across the state. Backed by the Department of Agriculture, PA Preferred™ makes it simple for residents to eat local and identify state-grown products at grocery stores, farmers markets, and other food businesses. The brand also helps educate Pennsylvanians on the benefits of buying local, strengthens the state’s economy by providing support to PA-based businesses, and helps ensure that future generations will have access to farm-fresh, locally-sourced foods and products.

The program’s logo clearly identifies local fruits and vegetables, snack foods, dairy and meat products, nursery stock, hardwoods, and many other goods, and is currently used by more than 600 PA Preferred™ members - making it easier than ever for the 93 percent of Pennsylvanians who want to purchase locally grown food to locate vendors.