Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that Grayson Natural Farms LLC, a producer of the Landcrafted Food grass-fed, organic meat snacks brand, will invest $1.5 million to expand its smokehouse and production operation in Grayson County. The company will add 35,000 square feet to its manufacturing facility at 226 Industrial Lane in Independence. Virginia successfully competed with South Carolina for the project, which will create 40 new jobs.

“The success of existing businesses is paramount to Virginia’s economic recovery, and we remain committed to helping them thrive amid these trying times,” said Governor Northam. “Our Commonwealth has built a strong reputation as a leader in the food and beverage sector, and the continued growth of Grayson Natural Farms in Southwest Virginia is a testament to the many competitive advantages that make this region appealing for expanding companies like Grayson Natural Farms.”

Grayson Natural Farms operates under the Landcrafted Food brand, made up of a group of pioneering farmers focused on producing wholesome, organic, grass-fed beef. Landcrafted Food is on a mission to bring economic sustainability back to family farmers through the development and distribution of quality foods, with the goal of becoming the only national brand of grass-fed meat snacks that both raises cattle and manufactures its own products. Made from responsibly-sourced ingredients, including grass-fed beef that is raised humanely on its small consortium of farms, Landcrafted Food products have no added hormones or antibiotics and are gluten-free and GMO-free. The company opened its smokehouse and production facility in Independence, Virginia in 2017.

“Grayson Natural Farms has become a strong asset to the agricultural economy in Southwest Virginia, and we congratulate the company on its expansion in Grayson County,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The company’s continued investment in Virginia and commitment to economic sustainability for family farms is much appreciated, especially in these challenging times.”

“I fell in love with the rolling hills of Virginia 40 years ago and appreciate the history, the quality of life, and the people in the area,” said Charlotte Hanes, owner of Grayson Natural Farms. “To me, Virginia is home and a place where we can help our small communities build upon tradition, save family farms, and create work for people who care. Our management team is experienced and has expanded other food companies in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and other states along the East Coast. We sat together and finally decided that this is where we want to be as we grow a stable workforce committed to building a national brand.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Grayson County, Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance, and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $50,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Grayson County with the project. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, as well as the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Grayson Natural Farms is a great business partner for Grayson County, and I am very pleased and honored that they have decided to expand in our County,” said Chair of the Grayson County Board of Supervisors Kenneth R. Belton.

“Grayson Natural Farms has been and will continue to be a major contributor to the economic vitality of Grayson County,” said Grayson County Administrator William L. Shepley. “We are extremely pleased that the company has decided to expand its operations in Grayson County, and we congratulate the owners and employees on their outstanding success.”

“When a Virginia-based company like Grayson Natural Farms invests to expand its operation, there are tangible benefits to the state’s economy, to the job market, and for The Port of Virginia,” said Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart. “This company is expanding, in part, because of the access this port provides to global markets. We congratulate Grayson Farms on its expansion and look forward to supporting its growth.”

“Agribusiness and manufacturing have strong roots in Southwest Virginia and remain key to our economic growth,” said Senator Todd Pillion. “Grayson Natural Farms is to be commended and thanked for its continued commitment to Grayson County. It is imperative that we support businesses like these and ensure they have the necessary resources to be successful and reinvest in our communities and families.”

“I’m very happy to see Grayson Natural Farms continuing to grow and invest in Southwest Virginia,” said Delegate Israel O’Quinn. “The company has been a solid corporate partner, and its continued growth is good for Grayson County. I’m excited for Grayson Natural Farms and wish them continued success.”

Source: Virginia Economic Development Partnership