Value Added Food Processing

Value Added Food Processing

Our world renowned agricultural industry, experience in food production, and favorable business environment provide many opportunities for companies in the food processing industry. Iowa is a major player when it comes to feeding the United States. It is the number one producer of corn, hogs, and eggs, and comes in second in the production of soybeans (USDA 2013)


ag industry infographic

Access To Markets

With its centralized location and convenient Interstate access, companies in Western Iowa have access to an abundance of raw materials and a market of over 25 million people within a day’s drive (500 miles). (source:

Western Iowa hosts a wide variety of food processing companies who employ over 3,000 people in the region.

EMPLOYERS Primary Product Employees
Smithfield Farmland Corp. Pork 1,600+
Proliant, Inc. Animal Protein Products 100-200
Quality Food Products Pork 100-200
Snappy Popcorn Company Microwavable Popcorn 50-100
ConAgra Foods, Inc Packaged Foods 0-50
Cookies, Inc BBQ Sauces 0-50
Noble Popcorn Farms Specialty Popcorn 0-50
Michael’s Bakery Products Flour Mixes & Dough 0-50

nationally ranked top 10

Population & Labor Force

Population of 8 County Region


Labor Force


Western Iowa has the unique advantage of having a significant concentration in several food processing industries.

Food Processing Industry Jobs in Region
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 1,734
Meat Processed from Carcasses 324
Poultry Processing 203

(Source: EMSI/Economic Modeling Systems Inc., 2014)

labor pool infographic 

Food & Beverage Industry Concentration

  • Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering
  • Rendering & Meat Byproduct Processing
  • Soybean & Other Oilseed Processing
  • Meat Processed from Carcasses
  • Poultry Processing
  • Fruit and Vegetable Canning
  • Other Animal Food Manufacturing
  • All Other Miscellaneous Food Manufacturing

food processing plant

fresh produce 


Utilities in the Western Iowa region are easily accessible, inexpensive, and reliable. Gas and electric are supplied by 10+ utility companies, providing reliable service at competitive prices. Contact a Western Iowa Advantage representative for information on rates and availability. Fiber is available in the region and expansion is underway.


Water is an essential component for the food processing industry, and Western Iowa has access to plentiful, affordable and clean water. 

iowa's tax advantageTax Advantages

  • No sales and use tax on manufacturing machinery and business equipment purchases.
  • No property tax on new industrial machinery and business equipment.
  • No personal property tax, including corporate inventories of goods-in-process, raw materials and salable goods.

Iowa Corporate Income Tax

  • 50% deductibility of federal taxes from Iowa corporate income
  • Single-factor, non-unitary based only on the percentage of total sales income within the state

Growth In Food Processing Industry

Growth of the food processing industry in the region exceeds that of the U.S. by over 28% (From 2010-2014)



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(Source: EMSI/Economic Modeling Systems Inc., 2014)

Company Profiles

Smithfield Farmland

Smithfield Farmland is the world’s largest pork producer, so it makes sense that they have a large location in Iowa, the number one state in hog production. Their values also align well with that of the Western Iowa Advantage region. “We always conduct ourselves with respect for our animals, communities, customers, employees and environment” (Smithfield Foods-Our Company). The company has 43 locations nationwide and is now in 12 countries, but the Denison location alone employs over 1,500 people

smithfield logo

Cookies Sauces and Seasonings

Don’t be deceived by the name: Cookies actually specializes in barbecue sauces. When Speed Herrig’s father told him that if he didn’t farm he would never make a living, Speed was determined to prove him wrong. In 1984 he bought the company from Cook himself and now Cookies’ sauces can be found on the shelves of large chain grocery stores around the country. Located in Wall Lake, Iowa, Cookies is a family business and the culture reflects that. While Cookies employs fewer than 20 people, its presence is apparent in the city and the region as a whole. In Western Iowa, the food processing industry has seen a 5-year growth rate of 14% and this can be attributed partly to the success of Cookies.

cookies logo

“With new recruits, if they stay a year, they'll stay forever.”

 Doug Clausen, President of VT Industries

Contact us today and see how easy it can be!

wia logoWestern Iowa Advantage
P.O. Box 768
Carroll, IA 51401