Businesses in Glasgow, KY
Glasgow and Barren County’s economy has long been fueled by agriculture, but a number of other industries have also put down roots in the region. Food and automotive manufacturing provide additional sources of employment in the county, as do construction, transportation and service-related industries.
Local businesses consistently praise Barren County for its solid infrastructure and proactive business environment. Businesses also appreciate Barren County’s central location, halfway between Louisville and Nashville, Tenn., which provides easy access to major markets in the Southeast and Midwest.
Barren County Agriculture
Barren County’s rolling countryside and wide-open spaces have made it a prime spot for agriculture, and despite its nickname “the Barrens,” it is full of rich, fertile farmland. The county is the state's top producer of beef and dairy cattle, alfalfa hay, soybeans and burley tobacco in Kentucky, and its agricultural way of life earned it the Best Place to Live in Rural America distinction from The Progressive Farmer magazine in 2007.
The Barren County Cooperative Extension Service provides educational opportunities for area farmers to learn the newest methods in agriculture, helping them stay on top of their game. Several Barren County producers also incorporate agritourism into their operations, inviting visitors to tour their farms and learn about their products. Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, for example, hosts school groups and tourists at its Austin farm and demonstrates how cheese is made.
Bluegrass Dairy & Food
Bluegrass Dairy & Food LLC employs about 100 workers in Glasgow, and the company makes five varieties of cheese – Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, Parmesan and Romano – which are sent to its Springfield plant to be converted into cheese powders. Major snack food manufacturers use the cheese powders to flavor products such as chips, crackers, croutons and popcorn.
Bluegrass Dairy & Food also manufactures nonfat dry milk for use in groceries, bakeries and ice cream, as well as ice cream blends for soft-serve operations.
Glasgow Automotive Manufacturing
A number of manufacturers cater to the automotive industry, which employs more than 1,700 people in Barren County. Akebono Brake Corp. in Glasgow makes vehicle brake systems and employs about 540 workers. ACK Controls Inc. manufactures automotive control cables and has about 320 employees. Nemak Kentucky. produces die-cast aluminum automotive parts with its 240 employees, and Dana Corp. makes heavy-duty truck axles and brakes, employing about 215 workers.
RR Donnelley is another big contributor to the local economy. The company provides offset printing, computer typesetting, saddle stitch and perfect binding services for publishers and employs about 1,100 people at its Glasgow location.
Glasgow’s historic downtown has seen lots of positive changes in recent years, thanks in part to the community's commitment to preservation. A citizens committee helped raise money and organize the restoration of the historic Plaza Theatre, making it into a big downtown attraction. Several community leaders and businesses have applied for façade grants to help shops in the historic district with building upkeep.
New lights and a new clock were recently installed downtown to fit the city’s character, and murals are being painted on the backsides of buildings. The city is also working on a streetscape project to improve sidewalks, curbs, gutters and landscaping downtown.
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