Long-time towing product supplier Blue Ox was among four Nebraska companies recently recognized at the White House for achievements in rural manufacturing, using Department of Agriculture rural development lending.

The Journal Star, Lincoln, reported that Pender-based Blue Ox was joined by three other Nebraska manufacturers, including Thurston Manufacturing Co., Allmand Brothers Inc. and MetalQuest Unlimited Inc.

First National Bank of Omaha provided the loan to Blue Ox, guaranteed by USDA Rural Development. The company diversified its focus and developed heavy-duty tow bars for the defense industry.

Blue Ox is known internationally for its quality towing products, from tow bars and baseplates, to steering control systems, supplementary brakes, carriers, weight distributing and gooseneck. Towing brands include the Tailgator and SwayPro.