From chicken, boats and steel to toilet paper, ammunition and multiple launch rocket systems, Arkansas boasts booming industries of all kinds. These Arkansas-made goods are shipped and used around the world.
A Ranger bass boat made in Flippin was displayed on the White House South Lawn for the “Made in America” products showcase in July 2018. The company Fishing Holdings in Flippin manufactures boats for Stratos and Triton as well as Ranger. Aloha Pontoons specializes in pontoon boats in North Little Rock, and SeaArk Boats focuses on aluminum boats in Monticello.
Arkansas is a paper state. Local logging companies take the lumber to paper mills like Domtar in Ashdown, and the paper gets shipped to printers like Democrat Printing & Lithographing in Little Rock (where this magazine was printed). Georgia-Pacific in Crossett produces major toilet paper brands such as Angel Soft and Quilted Northern, and the company manufactures Dixie products in Fort Smith, lumber and plywood in Gurdon and composite panels in Hope. These tissue, paper and paperboard products are used across the country in homes, office buildings, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and airports. Evergreen Packaging, known for paper and paperboard cartons, has a mill in Pine Bluff.
Mississippi County is one of the biggest steel-producing counties in the United States. Nucor-Yamato Steel Co. has manufactured steel that ended up in these amazing places:
- One World Trade Center in New York City
- The Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium
- Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium
- Arkansas State University Centennial Bank Stadium
Lexicon Inc. another major producer of steel in the U.S., is also located right here in Arkansas, with its headquarters in North Little Rock. Their product is found in hospitals, sports stadiums, (also in Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium), department stores, championship golf courses and beyond!
The Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. facility in Little Rock provides maintenance, repairs and installation for Falcon jets.
American Railcar Industries operates two manufacturing plants in Paragould and Marmaduke that produce different types of railcars.
The Remington Arms Co. facility in Lonoke produces ammunition. Clear Ballistics in Fort Smith manufactures ballistics gelatin to simulate the effects of ammunition and to help with medical research into bullet wounds.
Construction Equipment & Machinery
Caterpillar produces motor graders and medium wheel loaders in North Little Rock.
Ground Vehicles & Rocket Systems
Lockheed Martin Camden Operations makes ground vehicles and multiple launch rocket systems.
Tenneco Automotive Inc. has a ride performance manufacturing center in Paragould.
Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. produces rubber radial tires in Texarkana.
ABB Motors & Mechanical Inc. manufactures motors, clutches, brakes and other mechanical parts in Fort Smith.
In Harrison, Wabash Wood Products makes semi-truck trailer floors.
Hytrol in Jonesboro is a world leader in the manufacturing of advanced conveyor systems for customers with processing, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution needs. Hytrol conveyor systems can be found at airports and at distribution facilities for some of the world’s largest retailers.
Batesville is home to the companies Bad Boy Inc. and Intimidator Inc., both manufacturers of commercial mowers.
Tyson Foods, Simmons Foods, George’s Inc., Peco Foods Inc. and Pilgrim’s Pride are just a few of the chicken producers in Arkansas, and OK Foods in Fort Smith manufactures chicken that travels to military commissaries all over the world.
Tyson is known for its poultry, but the company also produces tortillas and chips — many of which go to Mexican restaurants.
Butterball is famous for Thanksgiving turkeys, and the company has a location in Jonesboro. Cargill also produces turkeys out of Springdale.
Riceland Foods, based in Stuttgart, is the biggest rice miller in world. Arkansas and Missouri farmers supply rice that travels far beyond the Delta.
Post Foods in Jonesboro produces well-known cereals such as Honey Bunches of Oats, Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles and Great Grains.
In Gentry, McKee Foods produces Little Debbie snack cakes, cookies, muffins and more.
The Conagra Foods plant in Russellville makes Banquet and Healthy Choice products.
Yarnell’s Ice Cream produces amazing flavors like sea salt caramel and butter pecan in Searcy.
Post Familie Vineyards is famous for muscadine wine in Altus.
Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning, based in Harrison, is a favorite among Arkansas families.
Grapette International started out in Camden and still operates its headquarters out of Malvern, and the Grapette and Orangette flavors can only be found in Walmart stores.
Mountain Valley Spring Water comes from Hot Springs, a city already famous for its natural springs.
Petit Jean Meats is the only red meat processor in Arkansas that’s privately owned, and the hams are smoked with actual hickory.
Heating & Air Conditioning
Arkansas receives visits from all four seasons. Paloma Industries in Fort Smith helps out with heating and air-conditioning equipment, and Lennox makes commercial heating and cooling systems in Stuttgart.
Husqvarna makes outdoor power equipment in a recently expanded plant in Nashville.
LaCroix Precision Optics, based in Batesville, makes lenses for the medical, defense and astronomy industries. LaCroix Optics are used in surgical lasers, laser target designators, sighting systems and microscopes.
J & H Custom Furniture in Pindall specializes in furniture for churches.
Baxter Healthcare Corp. in Mountain Home manufactures medical products for use in hospitals and during surgery.
All Kinds of Parts (that literally make the world “go ‘round”)
In its two locations in Harrison, Pace Industries makes die-cast parts for the cars, trucks, zero-turn mowers, electric razors, appliances and drills for some of the world’s most recognizable brands including BMW, Ford Motor Co., Gillette Razors, Weber Grills, Kohler Engines, GM, Black & Decker, DeWalt, Whirlpool, GE, Tesla, Cree, John Deere, Toro, Hustler Mower and Husqvarna.
Sources: Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, Living in Arkansas, Arkansas Business, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, featured companies’ websites, Bloomberg, Blytheville Courier News, The New Yorker, Harrison Daily Times, Only in Arkansas, Texarkana Gazette, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette