After months of behind-the-scenes work, Augusta County announced that 60 new jobs are coming to Verona. Governor Bob McDonnell helped unveil the new project, which is a marriage between agriculture and high-tech industry.
The newest tenant at Augusta County's Mill Place Commerce Park will be Shamrock Farms. Their products - like bottled milk, coffee creamers and sports drinks - are sold in stores and some restaurants, including Subway and Arby's.
Friday afternoon McDonnell helped break ground on the 25-acre tract where Shamrock Farms will build a $50 million milk manufacturing plant. It's expected to be ready for production in October of next year.
Shamrock will buy milk from dairy farms all over Virginia and bring it to the Verona plant to be turned into a variety of serving-sized drinks.
"One of the principal things we were looking for is good milk supply at a reasonable price. It's a very competitive business. Right here in Virginia that's what we found," said CEO of Shamrock Farms, Kent McClelland.
Augusta County hired branch highways to prepare the industrial site for Shamrock.
The new plant will be about 130,000 square feet.
Shamrock got some incentives to build the new plant $300,000 from the state and a roughly $1 million package from Augusta County.
"Not only do we embrace the Augusta County philosophy of agriculture, and bringing what makes Augusta County stand out in the great Commonwealth of Virginia, but also that it includes jobs," said David Karaffa, Augusta County supervisor.
The 60 jobs will include high-tech production and management.
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell MEDIA RELEASE
RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that Shamrock Farms, one of the largest family-owned-and-operated dairies in the U.S., will build a $50 million dairy manufacturing facility in Augusta County. The project will create 60 new jobs. Virginia successfully competed against Maryland and West Virginia for the project.
Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "With this project, Virginia adds another major corporation to its roster. We warmly welcome Shamrock Farms to the Commonwealth and Augusta County, and appreciate the company's significant investment and creation of 60 new jobs. This new dairy manufacturing facility is the perfect fit for a region rich in agricultural history and committed to attracting industry that supports that history. I am confident Shamrock Farms will benefit from the skilled workforce and infrastructure available, while complementing the existing enterprise base, utilizing locally produced materials, including locally sourced milk, and helping advance the local economy."
"Shamrock Farms' new milk processing operation is a great win for the Commonwealth and Augusta County," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "With the construction of a new 130,000-square-foot facility, with room for expansion, Mill Place Commerce Park gains a new corporate tenant and the region gains 60 new employment opportunities. Shamrock Farms is a company with a rich 90-year history, and I look forward to its success in Virginia in the years ahead."
The new state-of-the-art Shamrock Farms dairy manufacturing facility will produce extended shelf life (ESL) products including Shamrock Farms on-the-go mmmmilk and Rockin' Refuel, a new line of protein-fortified milk designed for muscle building and recovery used by sports teams in more than 150 colleges and universities nationwide.
"Shamrock's decision to invest in Virginia is outstanding news for our job creation efforts and will increase agricultural production opportunities," said Todd P. Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. "Our dairy industry, which is one of the largest sectors of Virginia's diversified agricultural economy, will benefit by having another first-class, major milk processing facility located in the Commonwealth, providing more opportunities for increased production. These are exactly the types of successes Governor McDonnell was envisioning when he decided to make agriculture and forestry key components of his overall economic development agenda."
"We're thrilled to be joining the Augusta County community, the Commonwealth of Virginia has been very welcoming and from both a business and a company culture perspective, it's the perfect fit for Shamrock Farms," said Kent McClelland, Chief Executive Officer of Shamrock Foods Company and third generation of McClelland family leadership. "The Shamrock Farms brand stands for Real. Fresh. Ideas., which to us means a commitment to providing authentic, high-quality dairy products. This national expansion and increased capacity will allow us to provide more great-tasting and innovative milk products to people across the country."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $250,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project. The Governor also approved $50,000 from the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, a grant administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and made to businesses that add value to Virginia-grown agricultural and forestal products. The company is eligible to receive road access funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment, training and retraining activities.
"We are extremely proud that Shamrock Farms has chosen Augusta County as the new home for its East Coast facility," said Jeffrey A. Moore, Chairman of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors. "Augusta County is rich in agricultural heritage and committed to attracting industry that supports that history while advancing our community. Rarely does an industry such as Shamrock Farms present opportunities to capitalize on each. The new state-of-the-art facility will provide job opportunities that benefit from the strengths of our workforce while complementing our commitment to provide quality jobs to our citizens. Today's announcement supports both our comprehensive and economic development strategic plans and we look forward to welcoming the innovation and technology that Shamrock Farms will bring to our community."
Office of Congressman Bob Goodlatte MEDIA RELEASE
Goodlatte: Shamrock Farms Facility Good News for Jobs in Augusta County
WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressman Bob Goodlatte released the following statement welcoming the announcement today that Shamrock Farms will build a $50 million dairy manufacturing facility in Augusta County, creating 60 new jobs:
"Today's announcement is good news for jobs in Augusta County. The Shenandoah Valley has a vibrant agricultural economy, and the new Shamrock Farms facility will help carry on that tradition. This facility brings numerous economic opportunities as well as 60 new jobs to the community. I am happy to welcome Shamrock Farms to the Sixth District and look forward to visiting the new facility upon completion. I will continue to support policies in Congress that encourage more companies to expand their businesses and invest in the United States and the Commonwealth."
About Shamrock Farms
Shamrock Farms, one of the largest family-owned and operated dairies in the country, manufactures a wide array of fresh dairy products including Rockin' Refuel® protein-fortified milk beverages and Shamrock Farms® on the go mmmmilk that can be found in retail chains and quick serve restaurants nationwide such as SUBWAY® Restaurants, Arby's® and Einstein Bros®. Shamrock Farms products are made with state-of-the-art extended shelf life technology for the longest refrigerated shelf life in the business and are produced without the use of the artificial growth hormone rBST. Headquartered in Phoenix, Shamrock's family farm hosts a herd of more than 10,000 cows, and was founded in 1922 in Tucson, Arizona.
Thursday, December 12 2013 5:57 PM EST2013-12-12 22:57:02 GMT
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