(AREA) -- Governor Rick Snyder toured one of Michigan Sugar Company's four production plants on Monday, October 21 in Bay City. Michigan Sugar President Mark Flegenheimer gave Snyder a guided tour of the company's flagship plant, explaining step by step how the farmer-owned cooperative turns mountains of beets into pure table sugar. Michigan's sugar industry is a vital component of the state's overall agricultural economy. With four processing plants in Bay City, Caro, Croswell and Sebewaing, Michigan Sugar Company generates a half-billion dollars in economic activity annually across the state's Thumb and Saginaw Valley. Michigan Sugar is the third largest beet sugar processor in the United States.