Company to process canola oilseed from local farmers; create 25 new jobs in Trenton
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 29, 2014) — 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. 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,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “I look forward to seeing this Kentucky-made product on store shelves throughout the U.S.”
Hart AgStrong will construct a 23,000-s.f. 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. The vegetable oil plant 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 Robert Davis, Hart AgStrong president and CEO. “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.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminary 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.