Lincoln Premium Poultry (LPP) and Aulick Industries have been named Nebraska Manufacturers of the Year. Aulick received the award for small-sized manufacturers, while LPP received the award for large manufacturers.
The award recognizes Nebraska manufacturers that implement innovative ways to conduct business using products, processes, technologies and other strategies. The companies were honored at the annual NE Chamber Manufacturing Summit, with top sponsor RSM US LLP, a leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services to manufacturing and wholesale distribution industries. More event sponsors are recognized at nechamber.com
“This year’s honorees are helping equip and feed the world,” said Bryan Slone, NE Chamber president. “Their hard work, innovation, and commitment to building strong futures for Nebraska families are admirable and appreciated. Our goal is to make Nebraska the best place for companies like Aulick and Lincoln Premium Poultry to operate and expand for decades to come."
Small Manufacturer of the Year--Aulick
Aulick is a manufacturer of agricultural transportation equipment. Its Belt Trailers and silage boxes are designed for easy loading, hauling and unloading of any farm commodity. Aulick has also expanded into construction, landscaping, and dump boxes, and most recently, goose neck trailers. The operation traces its beginnings to a gas station opened in 1952 by Harry Aulick. In Harry’s downtime, he began rewinding alternators and starters. When demand for the business took off, he sold the gas station and moved into a shop down the street where he began working on truck frame modifications, leading to the innovative design of the silage box in the 1970s. By the early 2000s, Aulick officially grew into manufacturing various trailers and boxes. Operations are currently in transition from the second to the third generation of Aulick’s. Now occupying four buildings along the South Beltline in Scottsbluff, the company has more than 130 employees in 12 locations, across the U.S., including Grand Island and Benkelman. This year marks Aulick Industries’ 70th year of business.
“Nebraska’s largest industry is ag. The fastest growing industry in Nebraska is manufacturing. We cater to both of those,” said Austin Aulick. “Our work impacts the state, not just through the initial sale of our products, but through every load that’s hauled by our customers.”
A long-time corporate citizen, Aulick has recently been recognized for its innovative approach to reinvesting in workforce development, including offering high school internships, helping start up a high school diesel technicians’ experiential learning program (housed onsite at Aulick’s), and creating college apprenticeships. In 2009, Aulick received the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce Trail Blazer Award.
Large Manufacturer of the Year--Lincoln Premium Poultry
A Nebraska company established in 2016 for Costco to serve as the poultry management company in its new poultry complex in Fremont. The state-of-the-art processing facility, hatchery and feed mill represents a $500 million investment in the region, with an additional $400 million investment by local grower partners. The facility employs 1,200 Nebraskans and delivers an estimated total economic impact of $1.2 billion annually, approximately 1% of Nebraska’s gross domestic product.
“Before we opened this facility, we traveled the world, literally. We looked at technology in many other countries. We toured both manufacturing and poultry facilities with a couple of goals in mind–automation and safety,” said Walt Shafer, chief operating officer of Lincoln Premium Poultry. “We wanted to take care of all our team members before we even hired them.”
LPP is involved in numerous state and local organizations including the Greater Fremont Development Council, the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, and the NE Chamber, in addition to engaging nationally in the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and the National Chicken Council.
Nebraska is home to more than 1,500 manufacturers employing 101,000 workers. One in 10 jobs is in manufacturing. The industry contributes more than $14.1 billion annually to Nebraska’s gross state product. Average annual wages in manufacturing exceeded $67,000 in 2019, the most recent year data is available.
The NE Chamber is the largest, statewide business association and Nebraska’s affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. It has proudly served as an advocate for Nebraska’s business and industry since 1912.
Award videos available at https://www.nechamber.com/ne-manufacturers-of-the-year.html