By EDITH ZHOU
Capital News Service
LANSING – With its dairy industry and a wide variety of fruits and sugar produced in the state, Michigan has become one of the best choices for yogurt companies to expand their businesses in, advocates say. According to Heather Throne of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, with more than 2,000 dairy farms, Michigan is the 8th largest milk producer in the nation, and the industry provides a $14.7 billion economic impact to the state. Throne said Michigan has the edge for new and expanded milk processing because of its plentiful supply of high-quality milk and other ingredients, including sugar and fruits. It also has easy access to consumer markets. Susan Esser, deputy of the department’s food and dairy division, said there has been a major yogurt processing plant for more than 30 years in Reed City.