Capturing value-added activity is often promoted as a rural development strategy, but this is difficult for specific communities lacking the resources to support food manufacturing activity. This study analyzes the relationship between local attributes and food manufacturing plant investments in Corn Belt counties between 1987 and 1995. Plant investment locations tend to occur in counties with access to input and product markets, developed transportation networks, agglomeration economies, favorable fiscal policies, and a low wage environment. Supply-oriented firms locate near agricultural commodities and low-cost labor. Demand-oriented firms favor locations near product markets and transportation systems.