Farmers Rice Milling Company Inc. plans a $13.4 million expansion and modernization of the company’s rice mill in eastern Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, creating an estimated 87 jobs.
Farmers Rice Milling processes and mills rough rice at the Lake Charles facility. The 55,000-square-foot expansion of the mill’s clean rice packaging and distribution facility will allow the company to increase processing speed and volume. Farmers Rice Milling Company, a division of The Powell Group, operates the largest rice mill in Louisiana. Overall, the company employs more than 125 workers in the rice mill and related facilities in and around Lake Charles.
“This project ensures Farmers Rice Milling will continue to purchase rice from the farmers of Southwest Louisiana and grow its position as a leader in the world rice market,” said company CEO James Warshaw. “Farmers Rice Milling Company has been a key part of the agricultural economy in Louisiana for over 90 years, employing hundreds of workers and buying services from vendors and suppliers around the state. The company looks forward to continuing its work with LED and its goods relations with the communities of Southwest Louisiana.”
Governor Bobby Jindal said, “Farmers Rice Milling Company has a long history of buying rice from Louisiana farmers, and we’re proud they’re expanding right here in our state. We’ve made retaining and expanding Louisiana’s existing businesses our top economic development priority since taking office in 2008, and this expansion is another example of our commitment to make Louisiana the best place in the world to find a great job and pursue a rewarding career. Farmers Rice Milling Company could have chosen to invest in another state, but they picked Louisiana because of our strong business climate, outstanding farmers and our incomparable workforce.”
As an incentive to support the expansion, Louisiana Economic Development offered the company a competitive incentive package, including a Modernization Tax Credit of $425,000 payable over five years. The company is also expected to utilize the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
“The SWLA Economic Development Alliance congratulates Farmers Rice Milling Company on this modernization project, which will increase their production,” said President and CEO George Swift of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “Farmers Rice Milling has been a longtime leader in agribusiness in Southwest Louisiana. In addition to supporting local agriculture, they are a strong job provider for our region.”