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Blue Ridge Aquaculture Expands Tilapia Aquaculture Production In Henry County, Virginia

Blue Ridge Aquaculture will invest $3.2 million to expand its aquaculture operation in Henry County, Virginia.

Founded in 1993, Blue Ridge Aquaculture is the largest producer of aquaculture-raised tilapia in the world using an environmentally sensitive, indoor recirculating system; producing 4 million pounds of tilapia a year and shipping between 10,000 and 20,000 pounds of live tilapia each day.

“This expansion is a significant step in our future growth plans, and will maintain Blue Ridge Aquaculture’s leadership position in the industry. We would like to thank the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Tobacco Commission, and Henry County for their support of our project,” said Bill Martin, President and CEO of Blue Ridge Aquaculture. “This support is a reflection of their recognition of the importance of aquaculture, and the opportunity to supply a clean, healthy, and environmentally sustainable seafood. I would also like to thank the dedicated employees at Blue Ridge Aquaculture, whose hard work has allowed our company to be so successful.”

The Commonwealth is partnering with Henry County and Blue Ridge Aquaculture on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).

Governor McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project, which Henry County is matching with local funds. The company was also awarded a grant from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. In addition, the company is receiving a Real Property Investment Grant through the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“The success of Virginia’s agriculture industry is a testament to the diversity and quality of its products, as well as their outstanding reputation in the global economy,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “I applaud Blue Ridge Aquaculture’s continued investment in Henry County and their expansion speaks to the high-quality seafood and marketplace success of the company. We will continue to support projects and products that diversify our agriculture industry, build the new Virginia economy and contribute to the Commonwealth’s reputation as the best place to do businesses around the world.”

“Blue Ridge Aquaculture’s expansion represents another positive step for Virginia as we reinforce our reputation as a key player in the nation’s seafood sector,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden. “Aquaculture production represents an opportunity for Virginia to capitalize on the need to feed a growing population with limited resources. We are lucky to have an innovative company like Blue Ridge Aquaculture as a member of the agriculture community in Virginia.”

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