Farmstead Butcher Block plans to invest over $1.2 million to establish a meat processing operation near Central City, Kentucky. The project is expected to create 25 full-time jobs.
Farmstead plans to locate on a 5-acre site on Cleaton Road, formerly home to Oxford Mining. The site includes three existing buildings, allowing the company to process cattle, hogs, lamb, chicken and turkey, as well as deer on a seasonal basis.
The company's investment also will include equipment, such as coolers and freezers, an equipped harvest floor, a rail system for moving products and processing room equipment. Construction on the project is now underway, with cattle, hog and lamb processing as the primary focus upon opening. Poultry and deer processing is expected to begin this fall.
"We're excited about the opportunity to be starting this business in Muhlenberg County," said Farmstead owner Clifford Welch. "We're looking forward to becoming a source for quality, locally sourced meat as well as providing jobs to the area. Local and neighboring residents, along with state and local governments, have all offered overwhelming support for this project. We are very happy to be here in Muhlenberg County."
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in February preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $375,000 in tax incentives based on the company's investment of $1.22 million and annual targets of creation and maintenance of 25 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years and paying an average hourly wage of $22 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, Farmstead can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.
"I want to welcome Farmstead Butcher Block and thank them for the creation of 25 jobs in Muhlenberg County that will significantly benefit the local economy and families in Western Kentucky," Governor Andy Beshear said. "As our state recovers and builds back our economy stronger than ever, Kentucky's flourishing food and beverage sector continues to prove itself a key element, and Farmstead will be a great addition to this growing industry. Thank you to the Welch family for their commitment to Kentucky, and congratulations on this great new venture."
Farmstead is a newly established business founded by Clifford and Carol Jo Welch, residents of Muhlenberg County since 2014. By locating near the Western Kentucky Parkway and other primary routes through Muhlenberg County, the company will be able to access customers in the surrounding region, including Christian, Daviess, Hopkins, Logan, McLean and Ohio counties. Company leaders expect to source from Kentucky Proud member farms, as well as other local farmers.
"We welcome Farmstead Butcher Block and the economic impact they will bring to Muhlenberg County," said Gary Jones, director of the Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress. "We look forward to having this unique facility in our county to provide fresh meat products to our residents and region."