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Incentives Assist Foremost Farms to Build Greenville, Michigan, Dairy Processing Plant

03/21/2018
Foremost Farms dairy started construction of its dairy processing plant in Greenville, Michigan. The project expected to generate a total capital investment of $57.9 million and create 33 jobs.

Greenville Venture Partners plans to establish a 55,000-square-foot dairy processing facility in Greenville that will help provide an outlet to process the current surplus milk supply in Michigan.

Among a number of incentives, Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $412,500 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant in support of the project. The city of Greenville plans to support the project with a 12-year property tax abatement valued at $2.33 million.

Until now, a lack of in-state processing facilities caused dairy farms to spend more than $164 million to process milk at out-of-state plants, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. MDARD is supporting the project with a $500,000 grant from its Food and Agriculture Investment Fund, pending approval from the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In Feb. MSF approved a private activity bond inducement valued at up to $12 million that will facilitate private financing for capital expenditures at the project. The bond inducement is coordinated through MEDC’s Capital Access team, which facilitates lending support for the small business community and provides administrative support for the inducement and issuance of bonds. Approval of the bond authorizing resolution is expected to take place at an upcoming MSF meeting.

“Foremost Farms is very appreciative of MSF approving the MBDP grant for Greenville Venture Partners,” said Foremost Farms President & CEO Michael Doyle. “This grant along with the assistance and partnership with MEDC and MDARD has helped us be able in to a very timely fashion make this dairy campus project in Greenville a reality.”

“Foremost Farms’ new milk processing plant will increase capacity and accessibility for Michigan dairy farmers while elevating the profile and profitability of our state’s dairy industry, and we’re pleased to support this investment and the new jobs for area residents,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

“Foremost Farms project is the result of a collaborative effort among the city of Greenville, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Department of Transportation, The Right Place, West MI Works! along with the MEDC. This project is a prime example of the great progress we make when we all work together,” he said.

Greenville Venture Partners LLC is a subsidiary of Foremost Farms USA Cooperative. Foremost Farms is a farmer-owned milk processing and marketing cooperative with about 1,300 members and annual sales of $1.5 billion.

“Being the second-most agriculturally diverse state in the country, Michigan is ideally positioned to use more of what we grow and produce to create another layer of economic value for the state,” said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gordon Wenk. “Not only will this project work toward stabilizing the industry for milk producers in that region, but it also will create valuable jobs for people in a rural community. MDARD is very proud to support this project, and many others like it, throughout the entire state.”

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