Farmstead Butcher Block to invest $1.2 million into Muhlenberg meat processing plant
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Farmstead Butcher Block LLC plans to invest over $1.2 million to establish a meat processing operation near Central City that is expected to create 25 full-time jobs.
“I want to welcome Farmstead Butcher Block and thank them for the creation of 25 jobs in Muhlenberg County that will significantly benefit the local economy and families in Western Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “As our state recovers and builds back our economy stronger than ever, Kentucky’s flourishing food and beverage sector continues to prove itself a key element, and Farmstead will be a great addition to this growing industry. Thank you to the Welch family for their commitment to Kentucky, and congratulations on this great new venture.”
Farmstead plans to locate on a 5-acre site on Cleaton Road, formerly home to Oxford Mining. The site includes three existing buildings, allowing the company to process cattle, hogs, lamb, chicken, and turkey, as well as deer on a seasonal basis. The company’s investment also will include equipment – such as coolers and freezers – an equipped harvest floor, a rail system for moving products, and processing room equipment. Construction on the project is now underway, with cattle, hog, and lamb processing as the primary focus upon opening. Poultry and deer processing is expected to begin this fall.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to be starting this business in Muhlenberg County,” said Farmstead owner Clifford Welch. “We’re looking forward to becoming a source for quality, locally sourced meat as well as providing jobs to the area. Local and neighboring residents, along with state and local governments, have all offered overwhelming support for this project. We are very happy to be here in Muhlenberg County.”
Farmstead is a newly established business founded by Clifford and Carol Jo Welch, residents of Muhlenberg County since 2014. By locating near the Western Kentucky Parkway and other primary routes through Muhlenberg County, the company will be able to access customers in the surrounding region, including Christian, Daviess, Hopkins, Logan, McLean, and Ohio counties. Company leaders expect to source from Kentucky Proud member farms, as well as other local farmers.
Farmstead joins more than 350 food and beverage manufacturing, service, and technology facilities located in the commonwealth, which currently employ over 52,000 people. Last year, the industry announced 53 new location or expansion projects expected to create more than 1,500 full-time jobs in the coming years with $974 million in announced investments.
Muhlenberg County Judge/Executive Curtis McGehee said the company will be a great fit for the local workforce.
“I feel the services of Farmstead Butcher Block are needed and will be well-received,” Judge/Executive McGehee said. “It’s an exciting time for our community, and this project is going to fit in nicely. On behalf of Muhlenberg County, I welcome this new addition to our marketplace.”
“I’m hearing a lot of good comments from people out in the community about Butcher Block. When the owner initially had contacted me, I was excited as I heard about his plan. And I felt like this would be a good fit for Muhlenberg County,” said McGehee.
Gary Jones, director of the Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress, noted the positive effect this project could have on the community.
“We welcome Farmstead Butcher Block and the economic impact they will bring to Muhlenberg County,” Jones said. “We look forward to having this unique facility in our county to provide fresh meat products to our residents and region.”
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in February preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $375,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $1.22 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 $22 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, Farmstead can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training, and job training incentives.
A detailed community profile for Muhlenberg County can be viewed here.
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