Food & Beverage
Rich resources for food and beverage producers and processors
Putnam County, West Virginia is in a rich agricultural region. Our state is home to nearly 23,000 farms encompassing 3.5 million acres, producing broiler chickens, beef cattle, hay, apples, corn, and soybeans. Locally, you’ll find more than 500 farming operations on 52,000 acres. Within 75 miles, there are 573,000 workers who grew up in this area, where both agriculture and manufacturing instilled a sense of pride in hard work and a job well done.
Success Story: Tasty Blend
That’s why our county is a natural site for the food and beverage industries. Tasty Blend started in Putnam County back in 1987 and has since grown significantly, with four divisions producing everything from dry mixes to breakfast sandwiches for customers and consumers in 35 states. Another innovative local employer is Gritt’s Midway Greenhouse, which produces and wholesales hydroponic tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers for local grocers, restaurants, and schools.
Local education providers support the food and beverage industry with workforce-focused programs in heavy equipment operation, additive manufacturing technology, agribusiness management, sustainable food and farming, and animal and food science. West Virginia offers workforce training support, along with tax credits, financing, and other incentives to encourage business growth.
Routes in All Directions
Our transportation infrastructure makes it easy for food and beverage companies to both access agricultural inputs and ship finished products, with fast access to I-64, connections with I-77 and I-79, and links to well-engineered highways such as U.S. 35 and U.S. 60. Rail users appreciate having access to both a busy CSX mainline and WATCO’s Kanawha River Railroad, with plenty of spurs. Air cargo is handled at two major airports, including Huntington’s Tri-State Aeroplex – West Virginia’s only FedEx Boeing 757 hub and home to onsite FedEx Air and Ground service – and Charleston’s Yeager International Airport. Companies shipping in bulk quantities can also take advantage of the navigable Kanawha River and the Port of Huntington-Tri-State, one of the nation’s largest ports.
Finally, our utility infrastructure is large enough to accommodate the special needs of food and beverage companies, with electric power capable of three-phase service, redundant loops, and loads of up to 7.2 MVA. The county’s water plant has excess capacity of 2.2 million gallons per day, there’s plenty of wastewater treatment capacity, and local natural gas suppliers have a nearly endless supply of affordable high-pressure natural gas.