Washington County, Mississippi Economic Alliance

Major Employers

 

Resourceful growth for employers.

From food products to fun on the river, from technology transfers to ceiling tiles, Washington County business and industry thrives through intelligent use of assets.

The yield isn’t visible to the naked eye, despite the lush acreage: 1,200 acres of bountiful row crops, 275 acres of gleaming catfish ponds, and nearly 3,000 acres of verdant forest. However, at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center (DREC), what’s actually being grown are solutions. The scientists and support staff at the DREC, the crown jewel of MSU’s 16 branch experiment stations, are in the business of solving problems and transferring vital solutions and technology to area producers of rice, catfish, soybeans, corn and cotton. Together, they work with nearly a dozen regional and federal agencies also located in Stoneville, ranging from the USDA’s Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center (where seven research centers include areas such a cotton ginning, crop and catfish genetics and biological control of pests) to Southern Hardwood Labs of the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Center.

 

Power processing: In Washington County smart growth isn’t limited to crops and agriculture. In 1978, when Mars Foods opened its Greenville plant to produce Uncle Ben’s® brand rice, the operation consisted of five packaging lines and one processing line. However, supported by Washington County’s powerful workforce training, the operation subsequently added to the product line, as it enlarged facilities and enhanced technology. Today, the plant produces products under leading brands including Uncle Ben’s®, Seeds of Change®, and Abu Siouf®, which is exported to the Middle East. Sitting on 110 acres, the plant’s 250,000-square-foot facility boasts nearly $140 million in assets, and employs 160. And in October 2014, the company announced another $31 million expansion to create 25 new jobs for its manufacturing and research and development operations.

 

More on deck: For Mississippi Marine Corporation, growth has meant enlarging the company’s service vision as it leveraged Washington County’s marine resources to expand through acquisition as well as new construction. Since opening in 1976 as a builder of mid-size towboats, MMC has grown to encompass six dry docks and has transitioned to full service marine repair, vessel renovation and new vessel construction.

 

Breakthrough growth with innovation: Farmers across the nation have come to depend on Loveland agricultural chemicals for better ways to protect crops from the ravages of pests, while Producers Rice Mill has allowed a consortium of rice farmers to protect the their own best interests as well as those of their customers with a totally integrated farmer-owned cooperative offering the most efficient distribution channel, direct from the farmer to the customer. For USG, which manufactures ceiling tile systems here in Washington County, proof of innovation is in the patents—1,100 of them granted to USG products, which include lighter weight products that have made the company a heavyweight in the construction industry.

 

Exciting synergies: Harlow’s Casino and Trop Casino Greenville are inviting, exciting venues for gaming and entertainment—great places to play, in other words. But they’re also hard-working and exceptionally smart, synergistic additions to Washington County’s broad portfolio of tourism assets, which also encompasses agri-tourism attractions—like the Stoneville Research facility, which draws more than 12,000 visitors per year.



Promoting economic growth and development in Washington County.

"We’re making Washington County better. Contact us today to join the Chamber."

Debra Wintory

Chamber Director

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