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Joplin MO-KS-OK Region Provides Food Processors With Good Highway Access

The seven-county Joplin region provides food processors with efficient access to raw materials — including wheat, corn, and cattle as well as affordable fresh water — and to more than 30 million people within a 350-mile radius. 

2015 Food Processing
Food processing firms need efficient transportation connections to receive raw materials and get their finished products to markets, and a central U.S. location helps to ease the distribution process.

Anchored by the Joplin, Mo.-Miami, Okla., metropolitan area and the Pittsburg and Parsons, Kan., micropolitan areas, the Joplin region is in the heart of the U.S. The transportation system, particularly highways, provides food processors with efficient access to raw materials and to more than 30 million people within a 350-mile radius. In addition, that transportation system extends from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico.

Interstate 44, which connects the Midwest to the Southwest, and Interstate 49, north-south, are key highway corridors for food processors. These are enhanced with a number of other federal and state highways that make for an efficient highway system serving the entire seven-county region as well as points beyond. Along with shipping of raw materials and finished products, this highway system also provides efficient routes for the region’s workforce of nearly 200,000.

Further, the seven-county Joplin Region alone produces 13.7 million bushels of wheat, 12.2 million bushels of corn, and 346,000 head of cattle each year. In addition to raw materials, food processors need affordable fresh water, and the Joplin region can provide huge volumes of that as well.

Local workers, many of whom grew up on and around farms, understand the importance of food. And the Joplin region gets high marks from area employers, who note employees’ work ethic and commitment to ongoing training.

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