Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that River Ridge Land and Cattle Company LLC will build and operate a new meat processing facility in Grayson County. The company will invest $2.1 million and create 11 new jobs over the next three years. River Ridge will also purchase nearly $4 million in Virginia-grown beef and pork for use at its new facility. The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with Grayson County and River Ridge Land and Cattle on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund.

“The Virginia cattle, calf, and hog industries generate almost half a billion dollars in farm cash receipts, and River Ridge’s new facility will be an economic boom for the region,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This new processing facility will provide an important service for livestock producers across the Commonwealth, and is another great example of strategic investment in projects that help us build the new Virginia economy.”

“As we continue our work with the Governor and private sector partners to build a new Virginia economy, I’m pleased to celebrate this story of a local business growing its operations,” said Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry Basil I. Gooden. “River Ridge’s new investment in Grayson County is a game-changer for our Virginia beef and pork producers, addressing the scarcity in the market for local meats and processing facilities. This operation will provide a major new custom processing option for producers in the region and create an asset for the industry for decades to come.  I am pleased the Governor’s AFID Fund could support the project and Grayson County’s commitment to it.”

River Ridge Land and Cattle Company is a Grayson County beef producer that markets its 100% grass-fed beef through Grayson Natural Foods. The company’s new USDA-inspected meat processing facility will provide much-needed meat processing infrastructure to area beef and pork producers. The facility will cut and package fresh meat for wholesale and retail customers, as well as offering a variety of value-added processing and packaging services, including meat snack sticks, jerky, cooked products, and specialty meat packaging and preparation for institutional and wholesale customers. The value-added meat processing services provided by River Ridge offer the farmers it serves access to an entirely new line of products they can use to further their engagement with their customers.

“On behalf of River Ridge Land and Cattle Company and Grayson Natural Farms, we are eternally grateful for the support we have received from Governor McAuliffe’s office, Secretary of Agriculture Gooden’s office, Senator Bill Carrico and the Tobacco Region Revitalization Committee, The Grayson County EDA, Jonathan Sweet and Grayson County Board of Supervisors,” said River Ridge co-owner Charlotte Hanes. “We are excited about this project and our decision to locate this facility in Independence was an easy decision given the commitment we have had from our state and local partners.  We are proud of the confidence that our statewide partners have in us and it is clear that Virginia, and in particular Grayson County, is open for business.”

“We are so thankful for the trust and confidence in Grayson County that River Ridge has demonstrated through their commitment to invest their processing operations here in our exceptional community,” stated Brenda Sutherland, Chair of the Grayson County Board of Supervisors. “We are so blessed to be celebrating Grayson County’s sixth new jobs announcement in concert with the Governor’s office within the last 36 months, and again contribute our success in securing this project to the quality of our workforce, the talent of our economic development team, and the strong cooperation we enjoy with all of our state, regional and private sector partners.”

“On behalf of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, I want to congratulate River Ridge Land and Cattle on their decision to locate in Grayson County bringing 11 new jobs to the area,” said Senator Bill Carrico, member of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. “In addition to the $45,000 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, this announcement is highlighted by River Ridge Land & Cattle's capital investment of $2.1 million which demonstrates their commitment to Grayson County and the region.”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with Grayson County to secure this project for Virginia.  Governor McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist Grayson County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $45,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The company is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Source: Virginia Department of Agriculture