Tillery Builds Relationships in Food Industry

17 Apr 2017

Phelps County boasts quality commodities like corn, soybeans and cattle, an abundant water supply and a great quality of life.

Most residents know those facts, but PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery wanted to share that story with site selectors and leaders in the food processing industry who are looking to expand or relocate to an area with these attributes.

That was the purpose of a recent trip to the Chicago area, where Tillery met with eight site-selection consultants and attended the ProFood Tech trade show, where he made connections with 24 industry leaders.

“There’s no better communication than face to face,” Tillery said. “That’s why this was such a vital trip.”

Tillery said the trade show attracted hundreds of exhibitors in the food processing industry and manufacturers and services that supply to the food industry.

“We are a good environment for food processing,” Tillery said of Phelps County. “What we are trying to do is get on their radar screen.”

Tillery also scheduled calls with eight site selectors, who were all very interested in PCDC’s story.

“Every site selector devoted quality time in getting to know us and getting to know our story,” Tillery said. “It was really, really good.”

Tillery said the site selectors also reaffirmed the importance of targeting the food-processing industry as a viable partner in Phelps County. As consumers continue to drive changes in food, the industry continues to change, adapt and grow to meet those demands.

“I think it’s important for us to be right in the middle of that right now,” Tillery said.

The Iron Horse Business & Industry Park in Holdrege also has another feature that is growing in demand – rail access.

“Since we are in a commodity-rich area, it’s encouraging that our site does have rail access,” Tillery said.

Rick Nelsen, senior account manager at Nebraska Public Power District, accompanied Tillery to the meetings and trade show.

“NPPD is just a fantastic partner,” Tillery said. “They provide a lot of support.”