What’s Made In Nebraska?

Earlier this summer, we wrote a blog about 10 great products that are made here in the U.S.A. That list was pretty comprehensive, and included everything from airplanes to kitchen products, but we still had some people asking us: what’s made in Nebraska?

The unfortunate thing is that there’s not a lot of public information out there about what’s made in specific states (as opposed to what’s made in the entire U.S.).

But using what information is publicly available, and the different manufacturers we’ve written about throughout our time here at the blog, we’ve compiled a list of 10 products that are made right here in our backyard:

  1. Farm equipment. It’s probably not very surprising the Nebraska, a strong farming state, also produces a lot of farm equipment. But nonetheless, we do–from combines and other on-the-farm equipment, to other processing equipment used in later stages.
  2. Powersports equipment. Kawasaki has a factory in Lincoln that produces powersports equipment–things like ATVs, Jetskis, and motorcycles. It’s one of the largest factories of its kind around, and accounts for a good portion of Kawasaki’s national production.
  3. Ammunition. There are a couple of ammunition manufacturers in Nebraska, with Hornady in Grand Island being the biggest. Although a lot of ammunition is still made in the U.S.A., it’s still nice to see more products being made in Nebraska.
  4. Food and beverages. As Netstate notes, food and beverages take up the largest manufacturing output in the state. From Kellogg’s to Purina Dog Food (and to the food that’s farmed and processed here), there’s a lot of food and beverage production happening in Nebraska.
  5. Beef. Although beef isn’t ‘manufactured’ in the same way that some of the other products here are, Nebraska is still very well-known for its meat packing industry. We’d argue that nowhere else in the country has better beef than we do in Nebraska!
  6. Manufacturing equipment. In addition to things like farm equipment and powersports equipment, Nebraska also has many manufacturers producing machinery for other manufacturers–products like strip joining presses, conveyer lines, and other industrial machinery.
  7. Chemicals. Currently, chemicals rank second in Nebraska’s manufacturing sectors. Coming in at $1.3 billion, Nebraska produces chemicals like fertilizer, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals in large numbers.
  8. Plastics. Along the same lines as some of the chemicals made in Nebraska, plastics also account for a decent portion of Nebraska’s manufacturing output. Local manufacturers like Denver Plastics Nebraska still produce many plastic products which are sent all over the world.
  9. Steel. Nebraska has a number of steel foundries that manufacture large amounts of steel every year. Much of that same steel is sent to other manufacturers in the state for machining, making steel a small–but integral–part of Nebraska’s manufacturing economy.
  10. Everything else. Although this accounts for a much smaller portion of Nebraska’s manufacturing output, this is still worth mentioning because it’s so unique: the site GROW Nebraska has made it easy to buy products that are made in Nebraska. With everything from art to gourmet food and wine, there are a lot of smaller products made in small quantities here in our backyard.

Although this may not seem like the most exciting list ever, it is still a solid reminder that Nebraska manufacturing is a force to be reckoned with. There are plenty of products that are still made in Nebraska, and we’re glad to say that we don’t see that list shrinking any time soon.

If anything, we actually think that the number of products made in Nebraska might actually expand as more companies reshore and once again start producing more products in America. Nebraska is a great place for manufacturers (and for employees and others looking to get involved in manufacturing), and this list is a great reminder why.

So the next time you see that combine along the side of the highway, hop on that ATV, or consume one of the many food and beverage products produced here in Nebraska, just remember: that was made right here in your backyard. And in our minds, it’s pretty hard to imagine anything better than that.

Photo credit: Wikipedia