Austin is a city in Mower County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 23,314 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Mower County. The southern part of the city is in Austin Township while the northern part is in Lansing Township; the city is politically independent of both. Austin is located at the intersection of Interstate Highway 90 and U.S. Highway 218 in the southeastern part of the state. The town was originally settled along the Cedar River and it has two man-made lakes called East Side Lake and Mill pond. The meat packer Hormel Foods Corporation is the largest employer in Austin, where its factory makes most of North America's Spam tinned meat. The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors an annual Independence Day Freedom Fest. "Spam Town USA," as Austin is sometimes called, is also home to the Spam Museum.