If you’ve ever been to Lincoln, you know why the city is the home of the cornhuskers.
But to assume that Lincoln’s economy peters off beyond the farm gates would be to miss some of this midsize metro’s most dynamic success stories. Lincoln ranked seventh on Forbes magazine’s list of best smaller metros for business and career, with a third-place ranking for income growth.
The Midwestern city excels in the manufacturing, insurance and energy sectors, and many companies headquartered in Lincoln do business across the state and around the world. Ameritas Financial Services, Selection Research Inc./Gallup Poll, Bosch and Cook Family Foods are a few examples. MDS Harris Laboratories is a pharmaceutical testing and research firm serves all 50 states and maintains an office in Beijing, China for international service. Novartis, which produces nonprescription drugs including Excedrin, Maalox and Triaminic, is another pharmaceutical firm headquartered in Lincoln. Lincoln’s economy is diverse and far-reaching, but roughly 90 percent of the city’s companies employ fewer than 20 people.
The juxtaposition of international industry with local entrepreneurship allows the city to meld its community roots with growing economic opportunities. Nowhere is this comingling more apparent than back on the farm. Corn has been a Nebraska mainstay for as long as anyone can remember, but in recent years farmers are turning to innovations like alternative fuel production to modernize their trade. Nebraska is the largest ethanol producer west of the Missouri River and the second largest in the nation, and the Nebraska Ethanol Board is headquartered in Lincoln.
The NEB works to promote ethanol producers in marketing their products. The Lincoln of today is still home of cornhuskers through and through, but their enthusiasm for new applications of their yield is a testament to Lincoln’s spirit of innovation from the cornfield to the conference room.