A recent feature in the Center For Michigan’s Bridge magazine described this state’s farming industry as “massive.”

Bridge wrote: “Michigan’s farm operators are advancing in years, raising questions about who will take over the state’s massive agriculture industry — worth $3.9 billion in 2014.”

ForTheRecord says: Bridge is not alone in underestimating just how diverse Michigan’s economy really is while also exaggerating the role of agriculture. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 68,577 people were employed on Michigan farms in 2014, the most recent year data is available. That’s just 1.3 percent of the 5.4 million Michigan residents who are employed.

The $3.9 billion figure cited by Bridge also includes revenue from forestry and fishing jobs, but even with a broad definition, agriculture still amounts to less than 1 percent of the state’s total Gross Domestic Product, which was $451.5 billion in 2014.

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