Area Development
Continental Organics has announced it will open a new facility in Orange County, NY, creating 120 new jobs, most of which will be filled by veterans. With the assistance of a $6.2 million incentive package from the Empire State Development Corporation, the company will invest $49.8 million toward a five-year project that includes the construction of a 900,000- sq.-ft. facility in New Windsor.

Continental Organics is a veteran-owned small business specializing in the production of organic produce, fish, and fertilizer. It uses a 21st-century method of food production ("aquaponics") to grow fresh, organic produce entirely indoors utilizing in a nutrient-rich solution rather than soil.

For the past year the firm operated out of the offices of the Orange County Business Accelerator as the center's first client. "They were incredibly helpful in getting us started," said Continental Organics CEO Michael Finnegan. "Now we are going to be the first business to graduate to a new home in Orange County."

The location at Stewart Airport will allow the company to deliver its products to northeastern fish and vegetable wholesalers at lower costs., explained Continental Organics COO Thomas Endres. "With the support of the state, we can really focus on farming -growing tomatoes, cucumbers, Swiss chard and specialty greens. We will also farm tilapia, sell organic fertilizer and lease an adjacent farm. "

Organic food is the future of food production, said Finnegan, and Continental Organics is "thrilled to be able to bring it to the Hudson Valley."