Made in Kansas
70% of the World's Embedded Aviation Fleet
Kansas companies export $2.3 billion in aerospace products each year and employ the third largest concentration of aviation workers in the U.S. Wichita is recognized as the "air capital of the world" and home to two of the world's largest aircraft manufacturers - Bombardier Learjet and Textron Aviation's Beechcraft and Cessna. Plus, Kansas is home to aviation education and research institutions that advance the future of the industry.
Originally known as the Kansas City Wizards, Sporting KC was an inaugural member of Major League Soccer. Lamar Hunt, the original team owner, was the founder of Major League Soccer who had a history of innovation in sports, also founding the American Football League. That continued with new ownership, who rebranded the club and built a soccer specific stadium in 2011 which set the benchmark for MLS stadiums across the country.
Electronic Vehicle Batteries
In July 2022, Panasonic Energy announced the development of a $4 billion lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in De Soto, part of the Kansas City metro. In addition to its location in the central part of the country and transportation access, the reputation of Kansas as a home to skilled manufacturing workers and dedication to sustainability were key factors. The plant will supply Tesla's Giga Texas plant, among others.
Founded in Lenexa in 1989, and now headquartered in Olathe, Garmin is a multinational technology company focusing on GPS for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor and fitness activities. To counter competition from smartphones, Garmin built niche businesses in smartwatches, navigation for boats, airplanes and other segments. And in 2019, BMW selected Garmin to design and build infotainment systems for its cars.
Top Gravel Race In the World
Starting and finishing in Emporia, Unbound Gravel is a 200 mile bicycle racing event that combines ultra endurance with gravel riding. Launched in 2006 with 34 riders, the event has been called the "World's Premier Gravel Grinder," now hosting 4,000 riders annually from all 50 states and 38 countries. Unbound Gravel has six divisions in addition to the marquee 200 mile event, ranging in distance from 25 miles to the 350 mile XL race.
#2 in Wind Power
Kansas ranks #2 in the U.S. in the percentage of electricity produced by wind turbines at 42.2%. Total production ranks fourth in the nation with enough electricity produced to power 1.6 million homes, more than the number of households by nearly 50%. The Grain Belt Express is a planned 800-mile transmission line that will carry electricity from western Kansas to Indiana, where it will connect to lines moving it further east.
Headquartered in Neodesha, Cobalt Boats manufactures recreational motorboats. Founded in 1968, the company is focused on meticulous construction and technical excellence. Cobalt pioneered the patented retractable swim step, one of several innovations that puts the brand at the top of buyer-satisfaction surveys. The company produces 2,000 boats a year selling through a network of dealers in the U.S., Canada and overseas.
Hill's Pet Nutrition
Launched in 1907, Topeka's Hill's Pet Nutrition is the fourth largest pet food company in the world. From producing canned dog and cat food starting in 1935, Hill's has become an innovator in nutrition and high-quality pet food. From Science Diet formulas based on size, age and lifestyle, and Prescription Diet, which is available only through veterinarians, to Health Advantage, designed to address specific pet health concerns.
Launched in 1900, the company set up headquarters in Wichita in 1902. In 1905, Coleman gas lamps were used to play the first night football game west of the Mississippi River. Coleman equipment supplied U.S. troops in World War II. It grew to be a major player of outdoor gear, by focusing on being accessible to all. Through acquisition and growth, Coleman continues to be a major manufacturer and employer in Wichita.
Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
Bill and Randy Simon named Freddy's Frozen Custard after their father, Freddy Simon who was a World War II veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Launched in Wichita in 2002, the first franchise opened in Hutchinson, Kansas in December 2004. Focusing on made to order steakburgers and frozen custard treats, the restaurant group has grown to more than 380 locations across 32 states.
Vornado is an American manufacturer of fans, fabric steamers, heaters, humidifiers and other products related to air circulation. Headquartered in Andover, the company's history traces back to the late 1920s with patented designs that improved airplane propellers. After the end of World War II the propeller designs were used to improve the effectiveness of household fans. With a successful track record of growth, Vornado was acquired by ThreeSixty Group in 2018.
Founded in 2005, Dynamic Discs has grown to become one of the nation's largest disc golf retailers. Founded on a commitment to excellence, Dynamic Disc pioneered DyeMax, a proprietary process that can produce discs with full color graphics and customer images. The company also supports growth hosting the Dynamic Disc Open in its hometown of Emporia, one of the largest disc golf events in the world
Launching in 2022, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) is a state-of-the-art facility built to protect the nation's agriculture, farmers and citizens against the threat and potential impact of serious animal diseases. The $1.25 billion facility is located on a secure federally-owned site on the Kansas State University (KSU) campus, adjacent to KSU's Biosecurity Research Institute in Pat Roberts Hall.
With 300,000 acres of public lands, a million acres of private land, and one-half million acres of professionally managed facilities, Kansas is huge for hunters. The state is known as the land of giants and recognized as a top state for pheasant and quail, deer, upland game, waterfowl and more. This accessibility and variety brings hunters from around the world to Kansas, looking for adventure and connection to the land.
The Best Steaks
With tallgrass prairies across the Flint Hills, and wide open ranges, Kansas is a top producer of high quality beef and some of the best steaks around. Ranked third in the nation for the total number of beef cattle by state, Kansas has operations focused on sustainability, all-natural ranching practices, farm-to-table and breeding that delivers unmatched flavor - including Waygu beef, world-renown for richness and taste.
With more than 18,000 locations in over 100 countries, Pizza Hut is the largest pizza restaurant chain in the world based on number of locations. Founded in 1958 in Wichita, the company is also the oldest pizza franchise. The company grew with first-to-market innovations including the pan pizza, stuff crust pizza and the supreme pizza. Through a series of acquisitions, Pizza Hut is now part of Yum! Brands.
Started in a garage in 1993, Dimensional Innovations has grown to an interdisciplinary team of 270 industrial designers, brand strategists, designers, architects, content creators, engineers, fabricators, technologists and more. They have a worldwide reputation for building innovative and engaging experiences for professional and college sports venues, museums and zoos, entertainment and retail, healthcare, and higher education.
Panasonic Energy EV Plant
Making the largest private investment in state history, Panasonic Energy is building one of the largest EV battery plants of its kind in De Soto. The $4 billion state-of-the-art facility will create and supply lithium-ion batteries and accelerate the future of electric vehicle innovation on a global scale. The location repurposes a closed army ammunition plant and boosts the regional economy, creating opportunities for suppliers and community businesses