The Roswell Air Center (RAC) is located five miles south of the central business district of the City of Roswell and is the core of southeastern New Mexico’s industrial activity. We have the largest used plane parking lot in the world. New Mexico’s dry climate makes it a perfect place to store airplanes. There’s also a massive landing strip and 4,000 acres for them to park, at what was once Walker Air Force Base. RAC was originally an army airfield and training facility during the Second World War. The facility then served as part of the U.S. Strategic Air Command Nuclear Deterrent Program. In 1967, it was closed by the Air Force and the 4,000-acre property was transferred to the City of Roswell, becoming its municipal airport and aviation-related business park.
Today, various industries are located at Roswell Air Center, including those that store, refurbish, and dismantle airliners. Airlines from around the world store, repair, and obtain parts from the giant aircraft that are already parked, or being worked on, at the facility. The Airport also has commercial service with American Airlines’ scheduled flights to and from Dallas/Ft. Worth and Phoenix, as well as general aviation aircraft that call RAC, home.
In Chaves County we have a variety of different types manufacturers. We welcome any type of manufacturer. The Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Roswell, and Chaves County are determined to enhance business and industrial manufacturing components, thereby guaranteeing the economic base necessary for future growth.
One of our popular manufacturers here in Chaves County is the Leprino Cheese Factory. Employing nearly 600 team members, the Roswell Leprino plant is an exemplary model of our water recycling capabilities. All the water used by the plant is treated for irrigation use on cropland adjacent to the plant to grow feed for local livestock. As one of the largest users of milk in the U.S., Leprino is a key player in our dairy industry.
Another manufacturer that we have in our county is Red Mountain Arsenal. Red Mountain Arsenal is an ammunition manufacturing company that builds centerfire pistol and rifle cartridges. The company focuses on delivering high quality products to domestic and foreign governments, law enforcement, domestic training organizations and commercial customers as allowed by US law and US Department of State regulations as applicable.
The Chaves County agriculture community varies widely and has many different situations and challenges. The county sprawls from a highly populated urban area to small towns and from irrigated farmland to dairy farms to rangeland. Chaves County still leads the state in hay production and number of dairy cows, with many other crops and livestock produced. Water continues to play a very important role to our agriculture.
According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, total crop production for the county exceeded $51 million. Chaves County led the state with 75,950 milk cows, resulting in over $338 million in cash receipts from milk for the year. Livestock production resulted in over $558 million in cash receipts. Chaves County ranked #1 in corn silage production with 391,000 tons and produced 391,000 tons of top quality alfalfa. In 2015, the local pecan industry produced 7.1 million pounds of pecans.
Our county is home to USA Beef Packing, a family owned and operated meat processing plant. USA Beef is a BRCGS Certified Facility that gives local ranchers and land stewards a place to humanely process their products. Both beef and bison are processed here.