Freestone County is a balanced economic region in terms of industrial sectors. U.S. Census survey data indicated the top three industry sectors in 2018 in Freestone County were healthcare, government and oil, gas and mining. However, Agriculture in Freestone County, at 3.81% of the total county industry, was the highest percentage of any county in Texas. The 2017 Census of Agriculture listed Freestone as the 20th-largest county in Texas in sales of Poultry & Eggs, at $40,363,000 in sales and an inventory of 2,200,784 broilers and other meat-type chickens. Energy generation is also a significant segment of Freestone’s industrial base. The Jewett Mine is located in both Freestone and Limestone County and supplies lignite to the Limestone Electric Generating Station owned by NRG Texas. The Freestone Energy Center generates electricity as a natural gas-fired facility located on approximately 500 acres near Fairfield, Texas.
Freestone County also has a very successful industrial base centered in Fairfield at the Fairfield Industrial Park North. The park is 45 acres and includes industry leading companies such as Norwesco, Archrock, Custom Hose, Baker Hughes, Windstream Communications and Chris Christensen Systems. In addition, the area is expanding with the Fairfield Industrial Park South, which will include 125 acres of shovel ready sites for business development.
Fairfield is the county seat and had an estimated population of in 2019, while Teague is the county's largest city, with a 2019 estimated population of 3,527. Total county population is 19,717. Like regions across the country, employment in Freestone County has declined slightly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Texas Workforce Commission reported that Freestone County had a total Civilian Labor Force of 6,270 in November 2020, with an unemployment rate of 9.5%, slightly higher than the Texas total of 8% unemployed. In comparison, Freestone County unemployment was 4.9% in November 2019. The area is fortunate to include some government and other non-market-driven employers that maintain fairly steady employment levels despite recession pressures. One example is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Boyd Unit, a state prison that employs nearly 300 people.
Freestone County has several recreation opportunities. Fairfield Lake offers numerous recreation opportunities amidst its 2,400 surface-acres, with Fairfield Lake State Park providing numerous activities within its 1,460 acres. The Richland-Chambers Reservoir sits at the northern edge of the county and is the third-largest inland reservoir in Texas, offering 330 miles of shoreline known for lakeshore homes. Additionally, the county is in the Texas Post Oak Savannah, an area offering habitat for hunting and other outdoor activities.
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