ST. CLOUD -- When it comes to farming Minnesota is the backbone of the industry according to a new report.

Two Minnesota congressional districts rank in the top 10 national in agricultural products.

Crop and livestock producers in Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District (which includes western half of Stearns County) sold just over $11 billion worth of agricultural products in 2012, making the district fourth in the nation about 435 districts.

The States First District, which makes up the southern part of the state, sold just over $7 billion to rank ninth in the nation according to a 2012 Census of Agriculture.

University of Minnesota Extension educator Dan Martens says Central Minnesota also had a good year according to some agricultural census data for Benton, Stearns, and Sherburne Counties.

He says Stearns County ranks 1st in the state in dairy production and ranks high nationally according to the 2012 rankings.

Even smaller counties like Benton and Sherburne also have high rankings nationally in multiple areas.

Martens says land area and use of resources is a big reason why our region continues to score high rankings.

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