Porter Road Opens New Meat Processing Facility in Princeton

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 8, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman congratulated Porter Road Butcher Meat Co. LLC on the grand opening of the company’s new USDA-approved meat processing facility in Princeton, which will create more than 80 jobs in Caldwell County.

“Just over a year ago, we announced Porter Road Butcher Meat Co. would locate a new meat processing operation in Princeton, and I am thrilled the facility is now operational and creating quality job opportunities for residents in the area,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our food, beverage and agritech sector is at the center of our efforts to create an economy that works for everyone, and the industry’s rapid growth is evidence that we are on the right path for sustained success.”

“I am pleased to have the opportunity today to join Porter Road for the opening of the company’s Princeton processing facility,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman, who is joining the Porter Road team and local officials in Princeton for the ribbon-cutting and grand opening. “Agritech continues to be a driving force behind our economy’s recovery, and companies like Porter Road are creating a foundation for continued growth well into the future. Congratulations to the company, Caldwell County and the surrounding region on the opening of this new operation.”

Porter Road’s new 28,000-square-foot facility on Masonic Drive in Princeton will boost the company’s production capacity in response to increased demand. The move substantially increases the company’s production space from its previous 7,000-square-foot facility. The project, initially announced in June 2020, also provides Porter Road with a larger cutting room and expanded packaging and shipping capabilities.

The 83 announced jobs include various wage levels with a focus on production staff, such as butchers and packaging and shipping positions. An increase in administrative and management, as well as maintenance roles, also is expected. Porter Road currently employs 42 people in Caldwell County.

The opening comes on the heels of $10 million invested in the company through Series A fundraising earlier this year. Leadership at Porter Road anticipates the company will invest approximately $12 million into local, pasture-based agriculture over the next 12 months.

“We have received tremendous support from the City of Princeton and the State of Kentucky as we prepared for the expansion of Porter Road, furthering our commitment to creating even more well-paying jobs for our community and maintaining close proximity to our farmers,” said Chris Carter, Porter Road co-founder and CEO. “This new facility and our increased capabilities will accelerate our mission to build a better food system.”

Carter and James Peisker founded Porter Road roughly a decade ago, having previously worked together as chefs. The pair started the business by opening a butcher shop in East Nashville, Tennessee, to provide customers with high-quality, locally sourced meat. In 2014, Porter Road Butcher Meat Co. was established as the business expanded to include the Princeton processing facility. The company went online in 2017, serving customers nationwide with all products processed and shipped from the Princeton facility. Porter Road provides products to more than 70 restaurants in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Porter Road’s expansion contributes to Kentucky’s thriving food, beverage and agritech sector, which includes more than 350 facilities employing over 52,000 people. Over the past 18 months, more than 65 new location and expansion projects within the industry are expected to create more than 1,800 full-time jobs with over $1.2 billion in announced investments.

The opening of Porter Road’s new facility furthers the Governor’s agritech initiative, as Team Kentucky works to establish the state as an industry leader for the nation. The initiative joins Kentucky’s advanced manufacturing sector with our deep roots in agriculture. It partners Kentucky entities with international players to leverage best practices and technologies. Those efforts will foster innovation and growth in the industry for the long term.

The Porter Road opening adds to recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.

Last month, Gov. Beshear announced Kentucky’s year-to-date private-sector new-location and expansion figures, which include over $2 billion in total planned investment and the creation of 4,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Through May, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage is $23.15 before benefits, a 4.7% increase over the previous year.

In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services. The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.

Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.

In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million. Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.

Caldwell County Judge/Executive Larry Curling said this is a major step forward in a long-term partnership with Porter Road.

“We appreciate Porter Road’s investment in the future of Caldwell County and look forward to a long relationship,” Judge/Executive Curling said. “Job creation of this magnitude will create future opportunities to our community. A big thanks to Porter Road for believing in Caldwell County.”

Princeton Mayor Kota Young noted the importance of keeping young, local residents in their hometown with quality job opportunities.

“These jobs are not just jobs, but career paths. The competitive hourly wage, training and growth opportunities available from Porter Road will help us retain our young citizens and enable them to plant roots and thrive here,” Mayor Young said. “Porter Road’s commitment to Princeton and our workforce will ensure our rich tradition of agriculture and manufacturing will continue on for years to come. It is exciting to see the fruits of our farmers and workforce be shared across the country every day.”

Amanda Davenport, executive director of the Lake Barkley Partnership, welcomed the company to Caldwell County following its opening.

“Porter Road continues to be a good community partner,” Davenport said. “Porter Road combines innovation and agriculture to provide high-quality food that is well cared for from the field to the consumer’s door. We are proud to have Porter Road in our community and look forward to their continued growth.”

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in June 2020 preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $750,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $1.51 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 83 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $19.46 including benefits across those jobs.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, Porter Road can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.

For more information on Porter Road Butcher Meat Co., visit PorterRoad.com.

A detailed community profile for Caldwell County can be viewed here.

More information on the Governor’s AgriTech Initiative is available at AgriTech.ky.gov.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.CED.ky.gov, facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.

Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.govkycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts FacebookTwitter and YouTube.