Agri-Industry & Food Processing

Fast Facts

  • 2nd in the U.S. in food manufacturing and processing
  • 23,500+ employed in food processing
  • 11,300+ employed in agriculture and farming
  • 100+ food processing companies
  • 6 NC Dept. of Agriculture research stations
  • 3 community value-added processing centers
  • Prime Agri-industry locations available
  • Several counties ranked in top 40 best places to farm in U.S.

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North Carolina’s Southeast region, long known for its productive land and innovative agricultural companies, has several of the top farm income producing counties in the nation. With more than 23,500 people employed in food processing and 11,300 employed in agriculture and farming, the area’s well-trained workforce continues to meet the needs of existing businesses within this sector.

Examples of products processed and/or grown in the region include pork, poultry, sauces, food/drink ingredients, sweet potato products, peanuts, soybean oil, grapes, tobacco, and blueberries. Wineries and vineyards are also a growth sector in the region due to the area’s fertile loamy soils that are ideal for grapes.

Companies in the Region

Company Name Product County
Birdsong Peanuts Peanut production Bladen
Houston's Peanuts Peanut production Bladen
Bomar Distributors Wholesale snacks Bladen
Sue Bee Honey Honey production Bladen
Smithfield Foods Pork production Bladen, Lenoir, & Sampson
Seacoast Land & Timber Timber management and harvesting Brunswick
Top Tobacco Cigarette manufacturing Columbus
Wayne E. Bailey Produce Sweet potatoes Columbus & Sampson
Cargill Soybean processing Cumberland
Butterball Turkey production Hoke & Sampson
American Skin, LLC Pork rinds and cracklins Pender
Campbell Soup Co. Food processing Robeson & Cumberland
Mountaire Farms of NC Poultry production Robeson & Scotland
Steven Roberts Original Desserts Bakery Robeson
Prestage Foods Turkey production Robeson & Sampson
Earth's Best Burch Farms Organic vegetable farm Sampson
Murphy-Brown Farms Hog farming Sampson
Black River Farms General crop farm Sampson
Case Farms Poultry processing Wayne
Georgia Pacific Building products Wayne
Goldsboro Milling Company Turkey & pork production Wayne
Mount Olive Pickle Company Pickle production Wayne