For Immediate Release:
March 29, 2017
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Economic Development Partnership: Suzanne Clark, (804) 545-5806, Sclark@yesvirginia.org
| Shamrock Farms, Katie Ahern, (312) 929-0515, firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor McAuliffe Announces Shamrock Farms to Create More Than 70 New Jobs in Augusta County
~Company to invest more than $40 million to expand milk manufacturing~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Shamrock Farms, one of the largest family owned-and-operated dairies in the U.S., will invest more than $40 million to expand its operation in Augusta County. The company will also commit to sourcing an additional $24 million in Virginia milk; quadrupling its current purchases of Virginia agricultural products. The expansion will allow Shamrock Farms to meet the growing demand for its brand portfolio nationally. This project will create more than 70 jobs and will more than double Shamrock Farms’ production capacity and workforce.
“The success of our existing businesses is paramount as we continue to diversify and build a new Virginia economy, and Shamrock Farms is a valued employer and corporate partner for our agricultural producers and the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Virginia has established itself as a leader in the food and beverage sector, and Shamrock Farms’ rapid growth in just two years in the Shenandoah Valley is a testament to Virginia’s business advantages and dominant standing in this thriving industry. We thank the company for its investment and commitment to Augusta County and the Commonwealth.”
“Shamrock Farms has become an incredible asset to the agriculture economy in the Shenandoah Valley,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden. “Shamrock’s continued investment in Virginia, and commitment to quadruple the amount of milk purchased from Virginia farmers is evidence of the company’s intent to be a long-term corporate citizen and partner in agriculture. This is another win in the Governor’s efforts to fully utilize our diverse agriculture industry, one of the Commonwealth’s greatest assets, to help build the new Virginia economy.”
“We congratulate Shamrock Farms on this significant expansion and success in the Commonwealth,” added Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Since 2007, food and beverage companies have announced plans to invest more than $2.25 billion and create 7,500 new jobs in Virginia. This sector continues to gain momentum, and Augusta County offers key assets to facilitate the industry’s growth—Interstates 81 and 64 intersect in the heart of the county, and the region boasts outstanding infrastructure, a skilled workforce, and tremendous agricultural resources.”
Shamrock Farms has been making pure, fresh milk products for 95 years and is a premier national milk brand. The product portfolio includes ready-to-drink single serve mmmmilk, Rockin’ Refuel protein beverages and the newly launched Cold Brew Coffee and Milk. They are available in more than 50,000 quick service restaurants and 36,000 grocery and convenience stores nationwide.
Today’s announcement is the second project for Shamrock Farms in the Commonwealth. In March 2013, Shamrock Farms announced a $50 million investment to establish its milk manufacturing operation in Augusta County, at the time, creating 60 new jobs in the Commonwealth. The facility expansion will more than double production capacity and fund technology that will enable Shamrock Farms to produce new products in response to the growing demand from customers.
“We’re thrilled to be expanding just two years after opening our doors in Virginia,” said Ann Ocana, Chief Marketing Officer of Shamrock Farms. “We’re poised for further growth and product innovation, and are thankful for our employees and the support we’ve received from the community and the Commonwealth.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Augusta County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $400,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, administered by VDACS. The company will also receive a $400,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program, an incentive available to existing companies, to assist the County with the project. Shamrock Farms will also be eligible to receive sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“Shamrock Farms is a cornerstone in Mill Place Commerce Park and a strong asset to the agricultural community of the Commonwealth,” said Tracy Pyles, Chairman of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors. “As exclusive purchasers of milk through the Maryland/Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, Shamrock Farms supports our dairy farmers and provides high-tech manufacturing jobs to our citizens.”
Terry Kelley, member of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and representative of the Beverley Manor District where Shamrock is located, said, “Shamrock Farms’ modern operation and growing workforce strengthen the type of jobs offered in Augusta County and our overall economy. We are proud to support Shamrock Farms in its expansion efforts and know this increased productivity will be a boon to Augusta County and the Valley.”
"I am pleased that Shamrock Farms is doubling down on its commitment to our area by increasing production and workforce levels in the Shenandoah Valley,” said Senator Emmett Hanger. “We are fortunate Shamrock chose our area for their East Coast processing facility and they have proven themselves to be a good complement to our agricultural based economy.”
"It is great to see Shamrock Farms expanding its operations in Augusta County just two years after it opened for business,” said Delegate Steven Landes. “These 70 new jobs are just one tangible example of the benefit of the Governor's AFID Fund, which I was honored to patron through legislation. I want to thank Governor McAuliffe for working with the General Assembly to bring these jobs to Western Virginia, and glad the work we have accomplished together with the AFID Fund is bringing jobs and further investment into Virginia."