Although not a leading industrial state, Minnesota has a great number and wide variety of manufacturing establishments, particularly in the Twin Cities area. Minnesota’s most important industry is the processing of food, particularly meat packing, making dairy products from the milk produced on the state’s farms, milling grain, brewing malt beverages, and packaging fruits and vegetables. Manufactures of industrial machinery, including computers and office machines, refrigeration and service machinery, electronics and electric equipment, and precision instruments, contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Printing and publishing rank highly, including a variety of commercial printing and the publishing of books, periodicals, and newspapers.
Other industries contributing to the state’s economy are those creating precision instruments, particularly for use in medicine; companies fabricating metal products, including ordnance; firms manufacturing transportation equipment, including those for motor vehicles; companies engaged in creating rubber and plastic products; and those using the state’s forest resources to manufacture paper and wood products.
Processing of some food products is carried on throughout the state, whereas other food products are processed in only certain cities. Dairy products are processed in almost all parts of the state. The major meat-packing plants are in South Saint Paul, Austin, and Albert Lea. The major center for flour milling and other grain products was Minneapolis, historically called the Mill City.
Most of the nation’s leading flour milling companies still have their home offices there, although there is little actual production in the city now. Sugar refining is largely carried on in the Red River Valley, where most of the sugar beets are produced. Processing plants for linseed oil are centered mainly in Minneapolis, and soybean oil is also processed there and at Mankato. Many of the state’s industrial plants are located in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul, or Twin Cities, area. In addition to food-processing plants, there are large plants that manufacture industrial, agricultural, and electrical machinery, computers, electronic equipment, missile systems, automatic controls, fabricated metal goods, plastic tapes of all sorts, paper, glass, and chemicals.
There are many clothing factories and two oil refineries. The area has a large automobile assembly plant and several publishing houses. The commercial film and video industry and computer manufacturing also has a significant foothold in the Twin Cities.
Duluth, the other major manufacturing center, has several steel manufacturers and food-processing plants, including a meat-packing plant and one of the largest plants for processing and packaging Chinese foods. Other industries include printing and publishing, oil refining, aircraft maintenance, and the manufacture of machinery, tools, wood products, paper products, and cement. Smaller towns have local industries. "Minnesota" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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