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Top 10 Manufacturing Companies in Iowa

Posted by IndustrySelect on Monday, March 25, 2024


Above: Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids, IA (Image courtesy of Collins Aerospace)

Looking to do business in Iowa? Having a deep understanding of the state’s manufacturing climate can help when it comes to talking to Iowa manufacturers. Today, we’re exploring some key facts and insights on Iowa manufacturing and providing information on the ten largest factories in the state.

The Latest Facts on Iowa’s Manufacturing Sector

With its low cost of doing business (not to mention its low cost of living) robust economy and abundant agricultural resources, Iowa is home to a number of big names in manufacturing, especially in the food processing industry.

According to data collected by MNI, compiler of the industrial information that powers IndustrySelect, Iowa is currently home to 4,273 manufacturers employing 263,870 workers. According to IndustrySelect’s database of 350,000+ U.S. manufacturing companies, there are 17,649 executive contacts among Iowa’s industrial companies, including 1,950 presidents, 1,547 owners and partners; 1,134 vice-presidents and 1,228 sales, marketing and purchasing executives.

Looking to do business with Iowa manufacturers? Learn about our live database of Iowa’s 4,600+ companies and 17,000+ executives.

According to MNI, Cedar Rapids is Iowa’s largest city based on industrial employment, home to 19,400 workers. This is followed by Des Moines with 16,059.

Read more: Top Manufacturing Cities in the U.S.

Other top cities in Iowa include

Waterloo (12,493 jobs)
Sioux City (9,104 jobs)
Davenport (8,363 jobs)

Polk County is Iowa’s largest in terms of industrial jobs, home to 35,848 workers. This is followed by Linn County (25,408), Black Hawk (16,055), Scott (15,485) and Dubuque (12,778).

Taking a look at the state’s top industries, food processing ranks as the state’s largest industrial sector based on number of jobs, employing 65,690. Second-ranked industrial machinery accounts for 49,397 jobs, while third-ranked fabricated metal products accounts for 23,839. This is followed by electronic and other electric equipment with 19,490 jobs and printing and publishing, with 12,161.

Other facts to know about Iowa manufacturers, based on IndustrySelect’s advanced criteria available to subscribers, include ownership, distribution and other trends. Let’s take a look:

• 2% of Iowa manufacturers are women-owned
• 1% are minority-owned
• 10% are publicly-owned companies
• 9% import raw materials
• 19% distribute their products internationally.

It is interesting to note that Iowa has more publicly-owned manufacturing companies (10%) than the national average of 5%. Iowa also distributes fewer products internationally, with 19% of Iowa manufacturers reporting they distribute products internationally, compared to 29% of all U.S. manufacturers.

Next, we’ll take a look at the state’s top companies.

Top 10 Manufacturing Companies in Iowa

Rockwell Collins, Inc.9,000Cedar RapidsIA
Deere & Co.4,200WaterlooIA
Winnebago Industries, Inc.3,000Forest CityIA
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.2,950WaterlooIA
Corteva AgriScience2,600JohnstonIA
Vermeer Manufacturing Co.2,500PellaIA
JBS Live Pork, LLC2,400OttumwaIA
Seaboard Triumph Foods, LLC2,400Sioux CityIA
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.2,400Storm LakeIA
JBS USA, LLC2,300MarshalltownIA

About the Top 10 Manufacturing Companies in Iowa

1. Rockwell Collins, Inc. (Cedar Rapids, IA) 

Ranking first in the state is Rockwell Collins, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp, which was created in 2018 by merging UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins to form this major aeronautics company with 150 locations around the world. This facility and its 9,000 employees focus on mission systems & avionics communication, navigation and aviation electronics.

2. Deere & Co (Waterloo, IA) 

A major Iowa industrial employer with 4,200 employees, Deere & Co. in Waterloo focuses on tractor transmissions, axels, gears. OEM components, chassis parts and tractor assembly. Founded in 1837, Deere & Company now employs 74,412 worldwide with revenues of $37 billion.

3. Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Forest City, IA) 

A household name in the recreational vehicles market, Winnebago Industries produces motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, toy haulers and boats at their Forest City location. Employing 3,000 Winnebago’s Forest City location ranks as the state’s third-largest industrial employer.

4. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. (Waterloo, IA) 

A major meat processor headquartered in Springdale, AR, Tyson Foods produces 20% of all the pork, beef and chicken consumed in the U.S. This location in Waterloo focuses on pork processing and packaging and employs 2,950.

5. Corteva AgriScience (Johnston, IA) 

Corteva AgriScience, a spin-off of DowDuPont, is an agriculture company that produces seeds and agricultural chemicals. The Johnston facility processes corn, soybean and wheat seeds as well as animal and seed inoculants. The company ranks fifth in the state with 2,600 workers.

6. Vermeer Manufacturing Co. (Pella, IA) 

Vermeer Manufacturing is major industrial and agricultural equipment manufacturer, with locations around the globe. The Pella operation specializes in underground construction, surface mining, tree care, environmental and agricultural equipment and employs 2,500.

7. JBS Live Pork, LLC (Ottumwa, IA) 

Another major meat processor, JBS produces more than 32 billion pounds of product every year to markets around the world. The company’s Ottumwa location employs 2,400 workers, ranking it seventh in the state.

8. Seaboard Triumph Foods (Sioux City, IA) 

Contrary to what its name might suggest, Seaboard Triumph Foods has little to do with seafood (or seaboards) but is a among the nation’s largest hog processors. Established in 2017, this Seaboard location now employs 2,400 workers and processes roughly 21,000 hogs per day at this state-of-the-art, highly automated facility.

9. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. (Storm Lake, IA)

One of three Tyson Fresh Meats locations in Iowa, this hog-processing location employs 2,400 and ranks as Iowa’s ninth largest manufacturer based on number of employees.

10. JBS USA, LLC (Marshalltown, IA) 

Rounding out our top ten list is another JBS location in Marshalltown. This facility employs 2,300 and focuses on hog processing. JBS USA is the American division of Brazilian company JBS S.A., founded in 1953 by rancher Jose Batista Sobrinho (hence the name JBS) and now ranks as the largest meat processor in the world.

Interested in other states? Browse all of our state news here.

Looking for Industrial Sales Leads in Iowa?

For those looking to do business with manufacturers, IndustrySelect’s database of 460,000 U.S. manufacturers is a top resource for both developing and researching sales leads in the manufacturing sector. An IndustrySelect subscription can put you on a first-name basis with Iowa’s 5,500 industrial companies and 16,700 executives. Subscribers can select up to 30 data points on any manufacturing company in the U.S. to help identify or pre-qualify leads. Company profiles also include the contact information for hard-to-find executive decision-makers. Try a free demo today!


 Editor's Note: This article was originally published in March 2021. It is updated annually to reflect new statistics on Iowa's manufacturing sector. 

Want to keep up with the latest sales and marketing trends and exclusive industrial statistics from MNI? The free weekly IndustrySelect Insider email is the industry's top source for sales, marketing and industrial news you can't find anywhere else. Subscribe here.

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