New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Wisconsin ranks third in the nation for food manufacturing when measured by value of shipments. The Midwest Food Products Association says the state had $43.7 billion in food shipments in 2015, with only California and Texas reporting more sales.

MWFPA President Nick George says the state’s impressive ranking is due in part to Wisconsin’s diversified portfolio of food processing industries, including well developed processing sectors such as dairy, meat, and cheese, in addition to fruits and vegetables.

“According to the annual survey, Wisconsin’s food manufacturing industry is a leading manufacturing employer in the state,” George said. “More than 64,000 people were food processing employees in 2015, representing 14.8 percent of manufacturing employment in the state. It also accounted for $3.1 billion in annual payroll and the industry’s labor income represented 13.2 percent of Wisconsin’s manufacturing total.” Read the full story here.