Tuesday, 04 29, 2014
Company to process canola oilseed from local farmers; create 25 new jobs
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear today announced Hart AgStrong LLC will build a canola oilseed processing plant in Todd County. The company plans to create 25 full-time jobs and invest $7.3 million into the project.
“We welcome Hart AgStrong to the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Not only will the company create 25 jobs and invest $7.3 million, it will also provide a significant boost to our local farmers and Kentucky’s food production industry. I look forward to seeing this Kentucky-made product on store shelves throughout the U.S.”
Hart AgStrong will construct a 23,000-square-foot processing facility off Highway 41 in Trenton this fall. The plant will initially crush and process 150 tons of canola oilseeds per day. A second phase of the project will include increasing the facility’s crushing capacity and building a vegetable oil refining plant, which is expected to be operational by early 2017.
“Hart AgStrong is very pleased to be able to join the farming community as a processor in the beautiful Commonwealth of Kentucky and the town of Trenton,” said Hart AgStrong President and CEO Robert Davis. “This region of Kentucky is an excellent area for double cropping, and canola provides a very good option for farmers to include in their crop rotations.”
Hart AgStrong is a leading producer of canola and sunflower oil. Since 2006, the company has been building relationships with local farmers by contracting oilseed production acres, and launched its first canola operation in Georgia in 2009. Hart AgStrong is building the new facility to be closer to canola seed farmers in western Kentucky.
A $5.4 billion industry, agriculture is vital to Kentucky’s economy. The state’s 77,000 farms cover nearly 13 million acres.
“I applaud Hart AgStrong for selecting Kentucky to expand its canola oilseed operations,” said Roger Thomas, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. “As a result of Hart AgStrong’s agri-business investment in our state, the Commonwealth’s farmers will have enhanced crop opportunities, our hardworking Kentuckians will benefit from the new job growth and Kentucky’s overall economy will receive a healthy boost.”
To encourage the investment and job creation in Trenton, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $450,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
“This decision by Hart AgStrong to build a new processing plant here says a lot about the quality of our local workforce and our farmers, and I’m happy to see this company and these good jobs come to Todd County,” said Rep. Martha Jane King, of Lewisburg. “I also appreciate our local and state officials for working closely with the company to help it establish operations right here in Kentucky.”
“I am excited to hear that Hart AgStrong has decided to invest in Todd County, bringing jobs, revenue and economic growth to the community,” said Sen. Whitney Westerfield, of Hopkinsville. “Hart AgStrong clearly recognizes the value in locating in the thriving agribusiness climate of western Kentucky.”
“I’m looking forward to the growth in our community when Hart AgStrong arrives,” said Trenton Mayor Jo Ann Holder. “Trenton is growing, and this announcement will help us expand our vision. I’m sure that Hart AgStrong will be a positive influence when it comes to employing their workforce locally. What is good for Trenton is good for Todd County.”
“On behalf of Todd County Fiscal Court and the citizens of Todd County, I would like to welcome Hart AgStrong to Trenton,” said Todd County Judge-Executive Daryl Greenfield. “Hart AgStrong will further expand our agricultural growth and opportunities. We are thankful for the significant investments and quality jobs coming to our county. I also would like to thank everyone who had a part in making this partnership possible.”
For more information on Hart AgStrong, visit www.agstrong.com
Todd County has been certified by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board as a Work Ready in Progress Community. The certification is an assurance to business and industry that the community is committed to providing the highly skilled workforce required in today's competitive global economy.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.
A detailed community profile for Trenton (Todd County) can be viewed here.