Hawthorn Foundation Announces Missouri’s Project of the Year

The Hawthorn Foundation is honoring the largest and most impactful business attraction projects in Missouri with a new annual award – Project of the Year. American Foods Group (AFG), a family-owned, U.S. beef processing company, is the inaugural recipient. Governor Mike Parson presented the award to company executives during the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Economic Development.

“We want to shine a spotlight on these monumental economic development wins in Missouri, and creating a meaningful awards program enables us to recognize the companies making new investments in our state,” said Becky Willard, Executive Director of the Hawthorn Foundation. “American Foods Group is an outstanding company and a perfect fit for Missouri, a state rooted in agriculture. We are grateful for American Foods Group and our partners across the state who worked tirelessly to successfully land this project in Missouri.”

Announcing Missouri as the site of its new $800 million beef processing facility in 2021, AFG is currently building a state-of-the-art 775,000 sq. ft. facility in Warren County. The company plans to create 1,300 new jobs. In total, AFG will have a projected annual economic impact of $1 billion in the region.

“It has been impressive to experience how State, Regional, and Local groups successfully collaborate to bring big projects to Missouri,” said Tom Rosen, CEO of Rosen’s Diversified, Inc. “Thank you to the Hawthorn Foundation for the Project of the Year Award. We look forward to calling Warren County, in the Great State of Missouri, home.”

Several projects were considered for the Project of the Year Award, but AFG was selected due to its extensive capital investment and significant community impact. Additionally, the project engaged numerous groups and stakeholders statewide, showcasing Missouri’s collaborative spirit.  

The Hawthorn Foundation hosts the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development annually. It typically draws more than 400 attendees from across the state. In addition to the Project of the Year Award, the Hawthorn Foundation honored Rudolph Farber with the inaugural Hawthorn Award of Excellence.

About Hawthorn Foundation

Hawthorn Foundation is a highly diverse group of statewide leaders dedicated to the economic prosperity of all Missourians. Since 1982, the Hawthorn Foundation has supported trade missions to assist with the promotion of Missouri globally. The organization works diligently toward development, growth, and prosperity for the state of Missouri through partnerships with the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Missouri Partnership, and local and regional economic and workforce development organizations.