Richland is predominantly an agrarian community. In 1827, landowner Henry Audulf established the city under the name Chisholm and founded the local economy on agriculture. Later, in 1885, the city began to grow when the railroad expanded into the area.
Currently, apart from farms, the main employers in Richland are Farmers State Bank, Stewart Webster Hospital, Four County Healthcare and Stewart-Webster Rural Health Clinic. Also, the town has ambitious plans to develop its downtown area and to this end has encouraged notable business. The third licensed alcohol producer in the state and crafter of artisan rum, the Richland Distilling Co. calls the city home.
Richland also attracts outdoors enthusiasts and routinely welcomes hunters, fisherman and hikers to the community.
During the second weekend in November, the city hosts its annual Pig Fest, which attracts large crowds eager to walk around a carnival midway, the car and truck show, a motorcycle rally and more.