Lafayette Region Agribusiness
Deeply Rootedin Acadiana
Major food manufacturers choose Acadiana – located in South Central Louisiana along the Gulf of Mexico - for its availability of raw agricultural and aquaculture products. The region’s major employers include a diverse mix of industry from healthcare to construction. Below are a few examples of major agribusiness investments:
Leigh St. Julian Billeaud
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McIlhenny Co (Tabasco)
Avery Island, one of five “islands” rising in atypical and mystical fashion above Louisiana’s flat coastal marshes, has been home to McIlhenny’s TABASCO brand Original Red Sauce production facility for 140 years. Today, the sauce is labeled in 22 languages and dialects and sold in over 180 countries around the globe. About half of the company’s 200 employees actually live on the island where many of their parents and grandparents lived and worked as well.
Falcon Rice Mill
As the manufacturer of Cajun Country medium, long, whole grain brown, popcorn, and jasmine rice, the Falcon Rice mill has remained the only family run rice mill in the U.S. Falcon opened its doors in Crowley, Louisiana in 1942 as a seed rice business, and now produces over 900,000 CWT hundred weights a year around the country.
Operating for over 100 years in the U.S., Omega Protein exports proteins, specialty oils, and essential fatty acids to the food and supplement industry. Omega-3 rich fish oil, processed at its Abbeville, Louisiana Gulf fish plant, reaches consumers in more than 40 countries through farm-raised seafood and pork.
A leading manufacturer of custom and branded dressings, sauces, mayos, oils, and more, Ventura Foods satisfies customers in the food service, retail, and ingredient industries in 60 international markets. Its Opelousas location serves as a manufacturing plant and refinery, strategically located for distribution around the world.
A right-to work state for more than three decades, Louisiana ranks in the Top 10 for lowest rates of private workforce unionization. It is also home to LED FastStart, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program, which creates customized workforce recruitment, screening, and training solutions.
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Beyond public investments in agriculture and aquaculture, Acadiana has a strong tradition of manufacturing operations, supplying a pool of skilled workers from logisticians to engineers. With a growing labor force of nearly 318,000 in the region and competitive wages, Acadiana’s workforce is waiting for you.
Louisiana State University’s Agriculture Center includes 20 stations across the state at which the research necessary for agricultural enterprises to succeed is conducted. Because of the high quality of the research, the LSU AgCenter has one of the most active intellectual property programs in the country and ranks among the top universities as far as return on investment dollar. More than 50 scientists in the LSU AgCenter have received patents or plant variety protection certificates.
Acadia (Rice) Research Station
Since 1908, this station has been developing new rice varieties to benefit the industry in Louisiana. The station maintains approximately 1,000 acres near Crowley, and includes more than 30 acres devoted to research on crawfish. Some rice varieties are developed for crawfish forage for those farmers who double-crop.
Iberia (Sugarcane) Research Station
Here, LSU AgCenter scientists conduct research on sugarcane, cattle, and row crops. It also specializes in energy cane, a variety of sugarcane developed to produce biomass that can be turned into fuel for the emerging biofuel market. The cattle research includes studies of crossbreeding cattle to evaluate the suitability of tropically adapted breeds to Louisiana.
A Better Bottom Line
- No. 1: Lowest tax burden in the U.S. for new capital-intensive and labor-intensive manufacturing operations.
- No. 2: Second-lowest industrial electricity rates in the South, averaging 19 percent below the national average between 2012-2014.
- No. 1: Lowest industrial natural gas rates in the South, averaging 18 percent below the national average between 2012-2014.
- No. 1: Acadiana has lower manufacturing wages than Louisiana, the South, and the U.S.
Acadiana values its agribusiness industry, and will align state and local resources to provide customized incentive packages for businesses looking to grow. One standard incentive, the Quality Jobs program, provides a cash rebate to companies that create well-paid jobs. You can find a full list of standard incentives here.
Acadiana understands that a company’s ability to ramp up quickly and efficiently is a significant factor in its location decision. Louisiana’s expedited environmental permit-processing program enables it to issue permits more quickly and efficiently than just about any other state in the country.
Access and Infrastructure
Acadiana is a prime location for your business. A logistical hub, the region is strategically located at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 49. It provides access to 38 interior states via the Mississippi River and countless international markets via the Gulf of Mexico. Within the Acadiana region alone are: TWO commercial airports, TWO Class I rail systems, FIVE coastal ports, and TWO inland ports.
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