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 Economic Development News 
Thursday, August 08 2019

Jerome, ID -- Idaho Milk Products is celebrating completion of the $30 million expansion at their Jerome facility that began in October 2018 with a ribbon-cutting planned in September 2019. The site has undergone many changes in recent months, including the new Research and Development (R&D) pilot plant. One of the benefits our customers will enjoy is access to more of our award-winning ingredients as we will increase our processing capacity by 1 million pounds of milk per day.

“We are excited about the capabilities our pilot plant space will provide us to help our customers,” reports Dr. Chenchaiah Marella, VP of Research and Product Development. “With state-of-the-art equipment, a product characterization lab and 1500 sq. ft. of processing area, we will offer our customers faster response time and a higher level of confidence in formulating successful, trending products.”

Posted by: AT 11:10 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 09 2019

Major expansion by The Hershey Company to create 65 new jobs

Stuarts Draft, VA -- Governor Ralph Northam announced that The Hershey Company, the leading North American chocolate producer and a global snacks company, will invest $104 million to grow its major manufacturing operation in Augusta County. The 111,000-square-foot expansion of the existing facility will increase production capabilities. The expanded facility will manufacture penuche and peanut cream, which will be distributed to other Hershey facilities on the East Coast. The Hershey Company evaluated potential expansion locations nationally and ultimately chose Augusta County for the project, which will create 65 new jobs. 

“For more than thirty years, The Hershey Company has continued to grow in Augusta County, creating hundreds of jobs and setting the bar for a thriving food and beverage industry cluster in the Shenandoah Valley,” said Governor Northam. “The company’s economic contribution to Virginia cannot be overstated, and we look forward to many more years of success for Hershey with this major investment and the establishment of a new Roasting Center of Excellence.”

Posted by: AT 01:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 27 2019

New expansion will create 48 jobs, $24 million capital investment

Madison, WI — Bernatello’s Pizza, a frozen pizza manufacturer and distributor, is expanding its facility in Kaukauna—a $24 million project expected to create 48 jobs over the next three years.

"The decision by Bernatello's to invest here in Wisconsin shows the company’s continued commitment to our state and its workforce,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state’s lead economic development organization. “In addition to the jobs created by this project, this expansion will allow Bernatello’s to take advantage of a growing market and position itself for future growth.”

“Bernatello’s is excited about the opportunity to expand our footprint and strengthen our position in the Fox Valley area,” said Dave Ramsay, Bernatello’s president and second-generation owner. “The company has experienced steady growth since our acquisition of Orv’s Pizza in 2012 and we are committed to making Bernatello’s an employer of choice in the area. We believe our newly expanded state-of-the-art facility will not only provide us with significant operational efficiencies but also be a much more enjoyable and safe work environment.”

Posted by: AT 10:07 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, December 21 2018

McDonough, GA -- The Henry County Development Authority announced that General Mills, manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods, will invest $8.5 million in its new state-of-the-art distribution facility located on Westridge Parkway in McDonough, Georgia. The project will create more than 50 new jobs.   

General Mills, headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, serves the world by making food people love.  Following the company’s acquisition of Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. earlier this year, they are also a leading manufacturer and marketer in the wholesome natural pet food category. The 408,000 sf McDonough facility will distribute the General Mills Blue Buffalo family of products throughout the Southeast.

“Blue Buffalo is the #1 Wholesome Natural pet food brand in the U.S. and we are pleased to be expanding with the addition of the facility in McDonough,” said Billy Bishop, President of General Mills Pet Segment.

Posted by: AT 11:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 13 2018

National cost comparison survey finds food processors can save up to 25% in Great Falls due to proximity to raw materials, low costs and transportation access

Great Falls, MT — The Great Falls Montana Development Authority (GFDA) announced that Great Falls is the least expensive market to operate a food processing plant based on a review of 25 U.S. cities. The study, conducted by The Boyd Company, found that annual operating costs for a 325-person food processing plant in Great Falls are 25% less than the most expensive metro, Boston, MA.

"Our analysis focused on geographically variable cost elements considered to be most pivotal within the corporate site selection process," says John Boyd, Principal, The Boyd Company, a Princeton, NJ-based site selection firm. "Great Falls came out on top because of its low land and construction costs, and its proximity to raw materials including livestock, wheat, nuts and seeds."

Posted by: AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 08 2018

Morrison, IL — There have been several food trends emerging over the past few years, and one of the biggest is the “Farm-to-Fork” movement, where people are getting closer to the source of their food, and knowing the producer and their production methods. To help people connect directly with growers and producers in the Whiteside/Northwest Illinois region, Gary Camarano, Whiteside County’s Economic Development Director, and Lauren Lee, the County’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Coordinator, collaborated on developing a “Local Food Hub” map to help consumers identify and visit local growers and food producers. 

The collaboration has resulted in a “Whiteside County Story Map” that identifies several categories of food growers and producers, including Farmer’s Markets, Farm Stands, Orchards & Pumpkin Patches, Local Food & Meat Processing, Wineries & Breweries, Family Farms, and the almost famous “Chocolate Trail”. The link to the “Local Food Hub” map can be found on the County’s website under the Economic Development department’s tab, or at the following link:

Posted by: AT 09:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 06 2018

New $30 Million Investment in Waco, Texas Facility

Waco, TX — Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S., part of the world's largest manufacturer of chocolate, confections, gum and mints, announced that it will invest an additional $30 million in its Waco, Texas site, breaking ground on a 65,000 square foot product distribution expansion.
"For over a century, Mars has been committed to making our products in the markets where we sell them," said Dan Brawell, Waco Site Director, Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. "We are grateful for the continued support from the Waco community and state of Texas, and we are pleased to further invest in the community with economic development."

Posted by: AT 08:51 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, August 04 2017

The company has invested an estimated $30 million in the project

Siloam Springs, AR -- Simmons Feed Ingredients, an affiliate of Simmons Foods Inc., held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its 72,000-square-foot ingredient facility in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Since 2015, the company has invested an estimated $30 million in the facility where it will produce fresh and frozen meat ingredients for pet food manufacturers. The company expects the new facility’s operations will create 78 new jobs.

“This wet ingredient facility is a model for the future of high-quality ingredient production for pet food manufacturers,” said Todd Simmons, CEO at Simmons Foods. “This new facility enables our team here to safely and reliably produce the highest quality, customizable ingredients for Simmons Feed Ingredients’ customers.” Simmons Foods Inc. and Affiliates are producers of poultry, pet food and ingredient products. They are one of the state’s largest private companies and employs over 1,000 people in its Siloam Springs operations.  

Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, joined the Simmons leadership and local officials at the event. “Simmons Foods has a long history of investing in Arkansas,” said Preston. “Through the establishment of this new facility, the company is making another significant commitment to doing business in the state. Arkansas has a large presence in food processing and this expansion is a testament to our strength in this sector.”

City of Siloam Springs City Administrator Phillip Patterson also spoke at the event saying, “Siloam Springs is a thriving City that continues to meet the demands of a new world. With this new facility we celebrate new jobs, new opportunity and new growth for this community. We are proud to have Simmons Foods headquartered here in Siloam Springs.”

Founded in 1949, Simmons Foods has been known for its business foresight, innovation, and loyalty to its customers and community. Some customer relationships go back almost 50 years. In the late 1990s, the company began to concentrate on business-to-business customers.

“For over 65 years Simmons Foods has been a valued member of the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce,” said Wayne Mays, President and CEO of the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce. “Today, we continue to work closely on many job-creating projects and appreciate their efforts and commitment to our community.”

Those interested in employment opportunities at Simmons can visit

About Simmons Feed Ingredients
Simmons Feed Ingredients, an affiliate of Simmons Foods, is focused on producing high quality animal nutrition for pet food, aquaculture and livestock. Through an integrated model that allows for maximum quality control, the company uses patented and proprietary processes to deliver top quality ingredients to our customers.

Simmons currently operates a feed ingredient facility in Southwest City, Missouri, along with an ingredient production facility in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. For more information on Simmons Feed Ingredients, visit

About Simmons Foods and Affiliates
Simmons is a vertically integrated, leading supplier of poultry, pet food and feed ingredient solutions based in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Founded in 1949, the company and its affiliates remain a privately owned and family led business.

Simmons Foods works with farmers, communities, and employees to apply more than 60 years of experience to serving customers. With more than 5,800 employees across more than 30 facilities, Simmons is committed to providing innovative food products and services to the world. For more information on Simmons Foods, visit


Simmons Wet Ingredient Facility is a model for the future of high-quality pet food ingredient production. The facility features unprecedented sourcing traceability, proprietary processes and innovative food safety systems to produce the highest quality, customizable ingredients for Simmons Feed Ingredients’ customers’ products. The company entered the feed ingredients market in the 1950’s.

July 31, 2017
Simmons Wet Ingredient Facility 1113 East Ashley Street
Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761


  • Opening Prayer: Chaplain Nick Braschler
  • Phillip Patterson, City Administrator, Siloam Springs
  • Todd Simmons, CEO, Simmons Foods
  • Governor Asa Hutchinson, State of Arkansas
  • Don Austin, Chairman, Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce, Executive Committee

By the numbers:

  • $50 million: Estimated economic impact to the state of Arkansas
  • 72,000: Estimated square footage
  • $30 million: Estimated Simmons investment in the plant
  • 78: Estimated full time jobs created
  • 1,000+: Approximate total of Simmons team members in Siloam Springs
  • 1949: Year Simmons Foods began

Design and construction:

  • December 2015 groundbreaking
  • Project partner: CRB Consulting (
  • Other partners: Shepard Construction, Central Electric, Southwest Vault, The Brandt Companies, Wiese Doors and Peachey Landscape Company.

Financing and Incentives:

  • Supported by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC)
  • Arkansas Advantage (Income Tax Credit): Supports job creation based on the payroll of new, full-time, permanent employees hired
  • Tax Back: Provides sales and use tax refunds on the purchase of building materials and taxable machinery and equipment to qualified businesses
  • $1 million grant supporting wastewater pretreatment operations at the facility


  • Meat ingredients for pet food (beef, chicken, pork, fish)
  • Custom blends and recipes for customers in ambient, refrigerated and frozen environments

Leadership Team:

  • John Whatley,​ Sr. Director of Operations, Simmons Wet Ingredient Facility
  • Jeff Webster, President and COO, Simmons Feed Ingredients
  • Dan Henson, Vice President of Operations, Simmons Feed Ingredients
  • Mike Buccheri, Vice President of Business Development, Simmons Feed Ingredients

For more information contact: Donny Epp, Communications Director, ​

Posted by: AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 01 2017

An estimated 180 new jobs will be created directly by McCain Foods

Burley, ID -- McCain Foods USA, a division of McCain Foods Limited, the world’s largest producer of frozen potato products, announced their plans to expand production capacity in Burley, Idaho for frozen french fries. McCain plans to invest over $200 million to expand its state-of-the-art production facility, and expects to create over 180 new jobs directly.

This investment is in response to increased demand for McCain branded products in North America and around the world. “In 2016, we reviewed all of our North America sites and narrowed the potential for expansion to a handful that could best help us meet the growing demand for McCain products” said Jeff DeLapp, Regional President, North America “In the end, we chose Burley due to its proximity to quality potatoes, availability of skilled workforce, and strong community and state level support.”

Posted by: AT 08:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 27 2017
Flatev, Swiss-based Pioneer in Baking Technology, Launches its Global Business in New Jersey

Princeton, NJ — Flatev, a startup company that plans to revolutionize the way consumers prepare a wide variety of flatbreads will be establishing its first worldwide manufacturing operation at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center business incubator facility in Bridgeton, NJ.  The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, met with officials from Choose New Jersey, Inc., the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, and other business leaders, and demonstrated their Flatev Artisan Baking System. The system gives consumers the ability to produce freshly baked, tasty, and nutritious artisanal flatbreads with the push of a button.  
The Flatev Artisan Baking System is a table-top household appliance that makes fresh tortillas, pita, roti, and other flatbreads, as well as cookies, with a single-serve dough portion, that is as consistent and easy-to-use as a single-serve coffee maker.  The Flatev dough single-serves will be produced at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center during the fall of 2017. The appliance and single-serves will be sold to a limited number of service hotels, offices, and to consumers shortly thereafter. 

Posted by: AT 10:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, December 06 2016
Governor Haslam, Commissioner Boyd Announce Leclerc Foods to Establish US Headquarters in Kingsport

Food manufacturer investing $49 million, creating 105 jobs

Nashville, TN -- Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd and Leclerc Foods officials announced that the food producer will establish its U.S. headquarters in Kingsport and expand production operations.

Leclerc Foods is investing approximately $49 million to establish a second facility in Kingsport and create 105 new jobs. The facility will include a new manufacturing line for granola bars, warehousing and distribution space as well as Leclerc Foods’ U.S. headquarters operations.

“Leclerc Foods’ decision to bring its U.S. headquarters to Kingsport is a prime example of our economic development efforts hitting on all cylinders,” Haslam said.  “Since first establishing a new manufacturing plant in Kingsport eight years ago, Leclerc Foods has expanded considerably.

Posted by: AT 01:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 05 2016

Grand Island, NE -- Part of the Layer Business Unit of Hendrix Genetics will expand its hatchery operation to Grand Island, Nebraska in Spring 2016. This expansion, along with fully operating hatcheries in Ephrata, Pennsylvania and in Blackstone, Virginia, demonstrates the commitment of Hendrix-ISA in serving the US-market with premium quality, day-old, cage free, egg laying chicks (layer chicks).

"After a thorough exploration phase and an investigation of multiple locations and possibilities, we have chosen Grand Island, Nebraska for our company's expansion," Peter Mumm, Managing Director of Hendrix-ISA LLC says. "The minute we stepped off of the plane in Grand Island we were impressed with the community. The community's readily available infrastructure, progressive growth, both industrial and commercial, and people all contributed to our decision to make Grand Island the future home of our expansion."

Posted by: AT 10:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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