Which State is Right For Your Project?

Harvest Group Knows.

Over 25 years of proven success in exceptional
site selection and incentive negotiation.

Our Company

We founded Harvest Group in 2002 with a vision to create a unique site selection and economic development incentive negotiation services firm that delivers extraordinary results for our clients, with unyielding integrity.

Our mission is simple, yet powerful:

‘To maximize economic development ROI for our clients through the integration and implementation of our exceptional site selection process and incentive negotiation best practices.’

Today, with over 25 years of proven experience, we're a leader in site selection and economic development incentive negotiation. We've helped Fortune 100, 500 and 1000 companies (and other firms) find the right sites and incentive opportunities with projects in 43 states and 8 countries.

Wes Bowen

Co-Founder / Sr. Partner

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With a degree in accounting, a Juris Doctor in law, and 25 years leading industrial and economic development projects, Wes' professional versatility and wisdom make him a valued counselor to a diverse range of clients, and a strategic force for Harvest Group. Moreover, his reputation for business ethics, nurturing client and government relationships and for producing exceptional results is beyond reproach. Wes' focused demeanor, hands-on approach and his problem-solving skills, combined with his extensive experience and knowledge, serves his clients exceedingly well. Prior to co-founding Harvest Group, Wes served in a management capacity for Ernst & Young and Aurthur Andersen.

You know that you're in good hands with Wes when a big part of his ministry in life is to serve others. In addition to leading the Harvest Group, Wes serves the community through Board positions with multiple, not-for-profit organizations and mentors a significant number of young business people. In his church, he serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee and President of the Board of Directors, has traveled extensively for mission work, and provides leadership in strategic and long-range planning. His leadership applied to your project will result in a greater yield on your investment along with positive, ongoing relationships.

Rudy Watkins

Co-Founder / Sr. Partner

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Rudy Watkins' reputation for being a leader grows from his ability to listen, leverage his experience, to define a strategic path forward and to represent his clients as if the projects were his own. The exceptional results that Harvest Group achieves for our clients are rooted in Rudy's unparalleled project management style and his innate ability to work towards the big picture. With over 25 years of industry experience, Rudy has served as a consultant with Ernst & Young and as a Senior Vice President for Pitney Bowes prior to co-founding the Harvest Group in 2002.

In addition to being admired as an astute manager, businessman and mentor throughout his career, Rudy has also been an exemplary role model as a father of three (and grandfather to four with two more coming!), as an elder in his church, and as a community leader. He understands the value of taking full responsibility for outcomes and is driven to create win-win results for both his clients and the communities in which Harvest completes projects.   Rudy will help lead your company harvest the true potential of your proposed projects.

Harvest Overview

Our Approach

The old adage, “location, location, location,” has never been more fitting than in today’s economic environment. The decision on which specific state (or country) and local community you choose to establish your operation will lead directly to either project success or failure.
Experience is the only way to know which locations offer the most advantageous opportunity for your project. We understand your project is critically important and presents its own unique challenges. Over the years, we’ve witnessed companies of all sizes struggle with finding the right sites and managing incentive opportunities for a variety of reasons.
We’ve perfected an approach and comprehensive set of best practices that enables us to find just the right site that meets your distinct operational, logistical, and labor needs while also being tax efficient. That, combined with the best economic development incentive package that dramatically improves your company’s return on capital investment, results in a “win-win” for all stakeholders.
Our approach focuses on:
  • Analyzing, researching and determining the best state/site for a project based on very defined infrastructure, facility, utility and labor needs of the project.
  • Identification of the potential economic development incentive benefits that arise from the potential investment and jobs of the project.
  • Final negotiation and consummation of all agreements and programs.
In addition, Harvest Group is experienced in the identification of potential incentive generating activities that arise from a Company’s Annual Budget.
Please view/watch the following video to learn about this distinct approach.

Our Services


Our Site Selection methodology and process enables us to identify and vet potential geographical areas then narrow those down to just the right site that meets your distinct operational, logistical, and labor needs while also being tax efficient.
  • Opportunities that demand incentive services often benefit from Harvest Group's strategic Site Selection Services.
  • Where should we go? Who do we contact? Is it a good business environment? Is there an available and affordable labor pool? Does the existing infrastructure (road, air, rail, power, water, etc.) match our needs? These are all critical issues related to site selection.
  • A great decision enhances the opportunity for success. Harvest Group has the experience and proven site selection processes to select a site that will serve as the foundation for a successful project.


Our sound approach and unique strategy is what defines Harvest Group. We utilize our 25 years of incentive negotiation experience to ensure that every detail of your incentive package is maximized for your project’s benefit. Incentives lead to growth and that is a “win-win” for both the company and the communities in which they operate.


Harvest Group service continues long after an incentive "offer" is accepted. Our service continues through the continuum of incentive agreements and the first year’s compliance process for each benefit.

Case Studies

Harvest Group is proud to partner with many Fortune 500 Companies.
Harvest Group’s track record of providing an extremely high degree of individual attention and caliber of work for our clients is a source of pride—and results in achieving the highest returns on our clients’ investments. For that reason, we are exceedingly judicial when it comes to whom we represent.
Since 2002, Harvest Group has worked with some of the most respected companies in America in over 43 states and more than 8 different countries. On average, we annually analyze/negotiate globally on projects totally over $10B+ with new jobs from 0-2,000.
Take a moment to review the Case Studies and Clients sections to discover more specifically the types of exceptional results that we consistently achieve for a diverse range of major corporations and industries.
Harvest Selects Award-Winning Site
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Due to increased customer and market demand, American Foods Group, a subsidiary of Rosen’s Diversified Inc. and a major agri-business company, needed to expand their beef processing production in the United States. The company had four other facilities but a fifth one was needed. The company had never built a beef processing facility from ground up, rather they had had grown their business through successful acquisition of existing facilities. AFG tapped the Harvest Group to assist with this new initiative.
After conducting extensive market studies on herd availability, farmland access, market demand and logistics, a specific area of geographic consideration for the new greenfield site was determined. Harvest Group began with a six-state site selection search for the 500,000 square foot processing plant. The project had a capital investment of $800MM+, approximately 1,300 new jobs, and very challenging need for water, wastewater and labor.
Harvest Group initially identified 23 different sites, then employed their proven site selection process and applied their extensive experience and knowledge of each of the state’s programs. The 23 sites were then culled to 13 sites in five states. After in-person executive visits, the list was further reduced to the top three sites in two states. Harvest Group then prepared an extensive operational and cost comparison of each of the top sites including the impact of all federal, state and local economic incentive programs to provide the company a strategic and comprehensive analysis from which to make a decision. This project also had some unique challenges with wastewater. Harvest Group was instrumental in developing a strategy and approach between the company and wastewater district that was mutually advantageous.
Ultimately, American Foods Group chose Warren County, MO for their project. It is currently under construction with an operational date of 2025, and is expected to generate $1 billion in annual economic impact for the State of Missouri. The decision has had such a positive impact that the project was recently awarded the Community Impact Award in Trade & Industry Development’s 2023 Corporate Investment/Community Impact Awards for its substantial investment in Missouri.
In addition to assisting AFG in finding the site and negotiating federal, state, and local incentives, Harvest Group was instrumental in developing meaningful relationships with all the government and industry stakeholders to ensure long term project viability.  The result is an incredible project, that was under budget, in just the right location, with a significant incentive package, and, most importantly, lasting, positive relationships.
   “Given the complexity of this project, the results Harvest Group delivered far exceeded our expectations. They found the right site for our project that will benefit our customers for years to come.” — Jim Rathke, Executive Vice President, American Foods Group
Stay or Move? Harvest Knew the Answer
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Harvest Group has had the pleasure of working with Conagra and their iconic brands for over 15 years. Most recently, Harvest was asked to assist Conagra with a very unique site selection decision for one of their main product lines.
In 2018, Conagra acquired Pinnacle Foods which resulted in the acquisition of all Pinnacle existing manufacturing plants, including one of their Bird’s Eye operations in Waseca, MN. This particular facility produced corn, peas and rice, which is a complementary product line to Conagra’s existing products, but it was 92 years old and antiquated.
In 2020, Conagra began to experience customer and competitive pressures for this frozen product that needed to be addressed, but due to the age and footprint of the current Waseca facility, upgrading the plant for increased efficiencies, new food and safety regulations and expansion was not possible. Conagra knew they had to close the facility, but the question remained whether to build a new facility on other property in Waseca or move the entire production out of state to an existing Conagra facility that could accommodate the increased production. With a $265MM investment and over 375 jobs at stake, there was no room for error (or making the wrong choice would be costly).
Harvest Group initiated discussions with state and local government authorities for both Waseca and potential out of state options. They weighed each option analyzing logistical efficiencies, infrastructure needs and available labor force. After conducting extensive comparison studies, it was decided that building a new facility in Waseca, was the best choice for Conagra. This was partly due to the favorable local economic development incentive benefits/savings and infrastructure needs (roads and water line extensions) that Harvest was able to negotiate on behalf of Conagra. In addition, Harvest was able to obtain Federal New Market Tax Credits for this facility that further enhanced the return on investment.
The decision was the right one. The facility became fully operational in 2022 providing approximately 20% more capacity.
Everybody Wins with Harvest
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Another long-standing client, CGB Enterprises, engaged Harvest Group to assist them with an existing and potentially problematic project for North Dakota Soybean Processors, a joint venture between CGB and Minnesota Soybean Processors.
Due to increased demand for optimizing their distribution network, ND Soybean Processors needed a greenfield soybean crushing/production facility in eastern North Dakota. Seating the facility in ND would provide ND farmers with another much-needed local facility for processing approximately 220MM bushels of soybeans annually. There were many economic stimulus advantages to having this new crushing facility located in ND, including increasing the value of the soybean basis, soybean acres and support of renewable diesel plants. These and other factors led ND Soybean Processors to choose Casselton, ND as their location. The new facility represented a $400MM investment and 56 new jobs.
However, due to some local misperception and extreme infrastructure challenges (natural gas, electrical and water/wastewater), the project lost momentum and community support, and was at a standstill. CGB asked Harvest for help.
Harvest spent several months traveling to Casselton and meeting with numerous key local stakeholders and other business influencers to align the constituents on the many advantages this project would bring to the local community. To facilitate the project, Harvest also conferenced with and personally met with the Governor of North Dakota and worked closely with the Commissioner of Economic Development. Ultimately, Harvest was able to orchestrate a very favorable solution to the infrastructure challenges including securing significant infrastructure funding and getting the needed wastewater/water from Fargo to Casselton to service the new site.
In addition to negotiating local, state and federal incentives, Harvest was instrumental in obtaining the necessary support from local officials. The project is currently under construction and is expected to be fully operational in Q2 2024.
No time. No site location. No Problem.
Finding the right location with no time to spare.
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When Harvest Group got the call, the message was loud and clear, “we need it yesterday.” Caterpillar, a major equipment manufacturer and Harvest client for over 12 years, needed to fast track a global manufacturing facility – moving a production line from Asia to the United States. They had little time to complete the entire project from site search, incentive negotiation, final site selection to construction completion, occupancy and equipment installation.
At stake: A $200MM capital investment to build a one-million-square-foot state-of-the-art global plant to manufacture and export small track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators with the potential to deliver staggering economic impact
Harvest Group immediately hit the ground running. With the clock ticking, Harvest had to quickly find the right location that met stringent requirements for global logistics and plant operation, and analyze investment profiles and the economic landscape from several potential state and local locations to be closer to customers in North America and Europe. Harvest also explored potential locations in Canada and Mexico with access to ports.
Ultimately, a site near Athens Georgia was chosen for the new project. Harvest created an economic development story that projected out 10 years with an economic impact of nearly 2.5 billion dollars annually. The project would bring over 1,400 manufacturing jobs to the U.S. from Asia. An estimated additional 2,800 full-time jobs would also be created in the U.S. among suppliers and other non-Caterpillar companies that will support the new facility.
As a result, Harvest helped pave the road to a successful incentive negotiation by securing an incentive package that yielded the return of a significant portion of the original investment spend and fostered long-term relationships with all stakeholders.
Well Worth The Wait
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Harvest Group has worked with J.M. Huber Corporation and their subsidiaries (Huber Engineered Woods, CP Kelco and Huber Engineered Materials) globally for almost 10 years. This work has included multiple projects including those in Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, Colorado, Germany and others. Our most recent project for Huber Engineered Woods (HEW) took us back into Arkansas, Alabama, Minnesota and Mississippi to assist them in finding the best location for their new $450MM+ facility. It was a journey that lasted three years, but well worth the time spent. Read on to learn more.
In 2020, HEW determined they needed to build a new sixth mill focused on producing OSB (oriented strand board) to meet projected customer demand. HEW had not built a new facility from ground up in over 50 years. It was a huge commitment for the company as it represented the biggest single investment this company has ever made. They turned to Harvest Group to assist.
After extensive wood basket studies were conducted across the US and those studies were compared to HEW’s distribution and customer network, it was decided that the Iron Range area in Minnesota would be a good fit for this new mill. Harvest spent approximately 18-24 months researching the best location within this area to locate, discussing with state and local officials infrastructure requirements and negotiating economic development incentive programs that were needed to bring this project to Minnesota. Initially the project had all the support it needed from the Governor’s office down to the local mayor and city council, but unfortunately, due to some strong and influential political and activists group headwinds that were causing significant delay in the project, HEW made the decision to look elsewhere in the US for this new mill’s home.
Another comprehensive multi-state search was conducted taking into account the needed wood basket that resulted in three potential landing spots – Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama. After further narrowing down project criteria including the availability of a willing and qualified workforce for the 150+ jobs, a 500 acre parcel in Noxubee county in east central Mississippi was chosen. Harvest was instrumental in locating the site, negotiating with the current land owner to purchase the property, assisting the county and their engineers on the infrastructure needs and industrial development requirements and working with the Governor and Lt. Governor’s offices and local officials on available economic incentives. The outcome was the perfect location for our client in a welcoming community that will thrive from this project for many years to come. The project was officially announced in June 2023, broke ground in October 2023 and expected to be fully operational in January 2026.
Please visit the following link to learn more: Huber Engineered Woods Breaks Ground on Cutting-Edge Facility in Noxubee County (prnewswire.com)

For additional information on how we work with our clients, please read this article from the Tax Executives Institute.

"I'd be hard pressed to think of another firm that is as knowledgeable, is as pleasurable to work with and delivers the kind of results as Harvest Group."
— Sue Zemba, Alcoa, Inc.
It has been a distinct pleasure and an honor to do business with you and your group. We were fortunate to have had the opportunity
to work with you and benefit from the value your group and expertise can bring a company like ours.
Most importantly we are grateful for the integrity with which you conduct your business.

The Harvest Group has consistently delivered high quality outcomes on multiple complex projects. Beyond generating direct economic benefits
to our projects, they have delivered additional tangible value through their commitment to partner with us in creating innovative solutions.

Don Young, Executive Vice-President & Chief Sustainability Officer, J.M. Huber Corporation
Thanks to Harvest Group, this was a win-win for our company and our partner state. Harvest found us the right site and exceeded all our expectations.
Jim Rathke, Executive Vice President, American Foods Group

Industry Experience

Harvest Group has worked with some of the most respected companies in the world. Our industry experience includes but not limited to Food and Beverage, Automobile, Chemicals, Agriculture, Boats and Recreation, Construction Machinery, Electronics, Furniture and Appliances, Rail and Trucking Logistics, Terminaling and Transloading, Oil and Gas Components, Renewable Fuels, Medical, Waste and Tires. We realize the importance of each companies’ brand and are diligent about upholding their reputation in the communities they serve by helping strengthen governmental relationships during the site selection and incentive negotiation process. On average, our team completes and analyzes/negotiates globally on projects totaling over $10B+ per year with new jobs from 0-2,000.

The Company We Keep


We'd love to discuss how we can help maximize the yield on your investment through Economic Development incentives.

Harvest Group LLC
3024 Centre Oak Way
Germantown, TN 38138

O: 901.818.5581
F: 901.756.9440

© 2023. Harvest Group LLC All right reserved.