Agricultural/Meat Production/Value-added Processing

Agricultural / Meat Production / Value-added Processing

Our region features a cluster of agricultural and meat production and processing businesses. West Plains hosts one of the largest sale barns in the State of Missouri. This has spark a large number of related industries to call this area home. Human food, animal feed and spices extracts all can be found in the area. Particularly, during our very strong hunting season game processing is big business.

Our Existing Cluster

  • Hiland Dairy Foods
  • Home Grown Cow
  • Peterson Organic Feed
  • Richard Brothers Feed
  • Crystal Lake Fisheries

Food and Beverage Processing companies in Our County Labor Shed

  • 29 Animal Production Facilities
  • 8 Animal Food Manufacturing
  • 8 Livestock Merchant Wholesalers
  • 3 Meat Processing from Carcasses
  • 2 Support Activities for Animal Production
  • 1 Spice and Extract Manufacturing
  • 1 Dog and Cat Food Manufacturing

Skilled Workforce

Our labor shed more jobs compared to US average in the following food and beverage processing industry sectors

  • More than 35x the US average in Dry, Condensed, and Evaporated Dairy Product Manufacturing
  • More than 24x the US average in Livestock Merchant Wholesaling
  • 11.5x the US average in Animal Food Manufacturing
  • More than 9x the US average in Roasted Nuts and Peanut Butter Manufacturing
  • More than 3x the US average in Dairy Product (except Dried or Canned) Merchant Wholesaling
  • More than 2.5x the US average in Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Manufacturing
  • 1.5x the US average in Animal Production

Additionally, some sectors in the food and beverage processing industry have experienced the following growth over the last five years

  • 70% growth in Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Manufacturing
  • 66% growth in Animal Food Manufacturing
  • 33% growth in Meat Processing from Carcasses
  • 8% growth in Butchers and Meat Cutters
  • 8% growth in All Other Food Processing Workers

Howell County is a Missouri Department of Economic Development designated Certified Work Ready Community

ACT, the college readiness assessment standardized testing company which tests high school students for admission into college (one of two such testing companies with the SAT), has initiated a national effort to certify counties as having workers with essential skills needed for industrial workplace success.  These skills include reading for information, applied mathematics, and locating information.  ACT has found these skills are required for 67% of jobs in the USA.

This ACT certification provides evidence-based facts regarding the quality and quantity of workers in our primary county, Howell County.

Low Cost Electric Power

The City of West Plains provides an average 180,000,000 kilowatt hour of electricity to its customers thru its own transmission and distribution network. This network consists of a transmission line,6 substations, a 52 MW Generation station, and over 350 miles of lines which is owned and maintained by its own Electric Department. Electricity is procured from Southwester Power Administration, Sikeston Power plant and open market sources thru the Southwestern Power Pool. Over 24% of the total electricity purchased annually is considered “Green” Energy. Average rates are:   Residential $0.083   Commercial $0.061  Industrial $0.050. Please refer to our advertised rates for specific pricing.

Link for rates:

City of West Plains is served by Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (HOEC). Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative, located in Marshfield, Missouri is HOEC’s transmission cooperative.

  • HOEC is owned by the members it serves; therefore, the cooperative is controlled by its’ members
  • HOEC is not profit driven; as a cooperative, it strives to keep costs of electricity low and maintain high quality of service
  • Commercial energy rates within West Plains can go as low as $.05 per kWh

Natural Gas

  • Summit Natural Gas of Missouri, a subsidiary of Summit Utilities, Inc. is the natural gas supplier to residents and businesses of West Plains, Missouri.
  • Summit Utilities Inc. maintains 20 natural gas systems and serves more than 40,000 homes and businesses in Colorado, Missouri, and Maine with clean, affordable natural gas.
  • Summit Natural Gas underground pipelines not only meet but exceed federal, state, and industry safety standards.

Water and Wastewater

  • The city provides water and wastewater management services to residents and businesses.
  • Water supply capacity is 5.2 million gallons per day
  • Peak consumption is 4 million gallons per day
  • The city’s Oxidation Ditch type water treatment plant has a current treatment capacity of 3.25 million gallons a day
  • Average daily treatment is 2.6 million gallons


Road Access

  • 4-laned Highway 63 intersects US Highway 60 in Howell County

Commercial Rail Access

  • West Plains is served by Burlington Northern-Santa Fe’s Heartland division

Workforce Training

  • South Central Career Center in West Plains offers a program in Culinary Arts
  • Missouri State University – West Plains has certificate programs in Agricultural Business, Small Business Management, and also offers an Associate degree in Wine Business and Entrepreneurship

Colleges and Universities

The 10-county labor shed has access to quality practical training and higher education programs through the following institutions:

  • Missouri State University
  • Arkansas State University-Mountain Home
  • Texas County Technical College
  • Ozarka College
  • Drury University
  • Ozarks Technical Community College

Taxes and Business Costs

  • Missouri is one of only two states to allow companies to annually select the income allocation option they like (the three-factor formula, based on sales, property and payroll or the single-factor formula, based only on sales)
  • Income allocation options result in lower corporate income tax liability
  • Qualifying manufacturing companies can receive state sales tax exemption based on items such as machinery, energy, water, materials, etc.
  • Residential property is assessed at 19% of true market value
  • Personal property is assessed at 33.33% of true market value


The State of Missouri and the City of West Plains have implemented several different programs to assist existing businesses and attract new ones. Notable programs include tax credits, grants, exemptions, etc.

Local Incentive Information
Click to Download

Tax Credits

Missouri Enhanced Enterprise Zone (MO EEZ)

West Plains features Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Missouri Enhanced Enterprise Zone (EEZ). The EEZ incentives are tax credits and local property tax abatements designed to encourage investment and job creation by expanding or new businesses within the region. To know more about the program, click here.

Federal New Market Tax Credits (NMTC)

  • This non-traditional financing incentive is for capital investments made by businesses both for-profit and not-for-profit) as well as for the development of mixed-use, commercial, industrial and housing projects

Historic Tax Credits

  • A 25% state investment tax credit for the “certified rehabilitation” of a “certified historic structure” used for either commercial or residential purposes
  • State historic tax credit may be carried forward for up to ten years
  • Eligible projects might also qualify for 20% federal investment tax credit for up to five years

Missouri Works Program

  • This incentive tool is considered as The State of Missouri’s number one incentive tool for expansion and retention
  • In addition to providing tax credits or access to capital through withholdings, the program also helps businesses purchase equipment to maintain its facility in Missouri

Rebuilding Communities Tax Credit Program

  • Primary aim of this incentive program is to stimulate business activity in Missouri’s “distressed communities” by providing tax credits to qualifying businesses that expand or move into a distressed community
  • For more information click here.

Tax Abatement

EEZ Local Property Tax Abatement

  • Eligible Businesses in an Enhanced Enterprise Zone
  • Eligible Businesses may receive 50% property tax abatement
  • Current EEZ zoning won’t expire until 2032

Project Financing

BUILD Missouri

The BUILD Missouri Program is an incentive tool targeted at large business projects. It allows Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Development Finance Board to provide financial incentive to an eligible entity in manufacturing, processing, assembly, research and development, and agricultural processing or services. For more information on the program, click here.

Missouri Customized Training Program

  • Must create new jobs in the state or retrain existing jobs as a result of substantial capital investment
  • Through this program, up to 100% of a company’s classroom training costs can be reimbursed