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Taylor Co. processing plant to serve local livestock producers

By Crystal Staley/Brandon Mattingly

Frankfort, KY - Gov. Andy Beshear's goal to establish Kentucky as a leader in the agritech sector took another step forward as today startup meat processor Green River Meats LLC shared plans to locate in Taylor County, creating 25 full-time jobs with a more than $2.3 million commitment.

"I want to welcome Green River Meats to the commonwealth and hope to see this company grow well into the future," Gov. Beshear said. "Kentucky's food, beverage and agritech sector includes businesses with a wide range of specialties, and it is great to add another company to that list that will work with and support local farmers and livestock producers."

The new processing plant will serve the local livestock industry and is expected to open at 3998 Greensburg Road near Campbellsville in 2023.

The operation will offer custom processing services of cattle and hogs under U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection and feature a retail storefront for the sale of beef and pork cuts. Jobs created through the project will include beef and pork fabrication, value-added processing, sales, packaging and management positions.

Green River Meats ownership said they look forward to furthering their relationship with the local community.

"Green River Meats LLC is excited about starting our new meat processing facility and retail storefront for direct-to-consumer sales in Campbellsville," co-owners Dr. Randy Smoot and Tim Jeffries said in a statement. "We appreciate the assistance and confidence that Gov. Beshear and the Cabinet for Economic Development has placed in our vision. Green River Meats will be able to serve residents and agriculture producers in the region for years to come. Green River Meats will be a place to buy fresh locally produced protein and a place for families to have the cattle and hogs they produce processed to take back to their families or market their products."

Owners Randy and Stephany Smoot and Tim and Leslie Jeffries bring more than 30 years of agriculture experience and over a decade raising Angus beef for local customers. Plans for the new operation include a USDA-inspected and Global Food Safety Initiative-certified processing plant with the aim to package 25,000 pounds of product per week.

Green River Meats will grow the commonwealth's agritech presence, which includes more than 200 agribusiness-related facilities that employ over 20,000 people statewide.

Taylor County Judge/Executive Barry Smith welcomed the company to the area.

"We're happy to have Green River Meats start up in Taylor County," Judge Smith said. "The 25 new jobs and $2.3 million investment planned by this company is a welcome addition to our community. The company's goal of providing a high-quality, locally grown beef processing facility is welcomed."

Campbellsville Mayor Diane Ford-Benningfield applauded the investment.

"Congratulations to Green River Meats. This is outstanding news," Mayor Ford-Benningfield said. "They will be a great addition to community."

Ron McMahan, executive director of Team Taylor County, recognized the importance of local entrepreneurship.

"We are excited to assist Green River Meats in the creation of their new business," McMahan said. "It's always good to have local entrepreneurs invest in their community, spurring new job growth and capital investment. Being able to take a locally grown agriculture product and create a value-added food processing company here is great."

Green River Meats' investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.

In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky's average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.

In recent months, the Beshear administration announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.

The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings upgrading Kentucky's financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth's surging economy.

For April 2022, the State Budget Director reported the highest-ever monthly General Fund receipts of $1.84 billion. That is up 34.9% over last April's collections, bringing Kentucky's year-to-date growth rate to 16.4%.

And Site Selection magazine recently placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $550,000 in tax incentives based on the company's investment of over $2.3 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 $21 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, the company can receive resources from Kentucky's workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

This story was posted on 2022-05-26 12:31:51
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