Atmore, AL – Rural Development Partners (RDP) is honored to partner with Coastal Growers LLC to provide New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) for a new peanut shelling facility in rural Alabama. The new operation will create 130 quality jobs at the plant, 125 new farmer-supported jobs, 95 constructions jobs, and economic opportunities to stabilize the region.
The project will allow peanut farmers to vertically integrate through ownership of the value-added shelling process, mitigating the risks of fluctuating commodity prices and industry consolidation for increased farmer profitability of 30-35%. Stagnant peanut prices and rising input costs have put great financial stress on local farmers. Peanut farmers within a 200-mile radius including Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia have creatively taken control of their future by organizing “Coastal Growers LLC”. They will construct a new 475,000 SF peanut shelling facility on 60 acres of land near Atmore, AL. The $86.7 million facility is expected to produce 200,000 tons of shelled peanuts a year. The endeavor will not only benefit the farmers but is expected to spur catalytic growth in a community that has great hope of economic opportunities and expansion.
“With commodity prices at such depressing levels, we as growers have been open to considering anything that might give us a better opportunity to financially survive. This, our investors believe, will give them the best chance to enhance earnings and have a sustainable family farm.” Joe Parker, owner-member of Coastal Growers, LLC.
RDP will allocate $15 million of NMTCs toward real estate and equipment for the Coastal Growers project, aligning well with RDP’s mission to create quality jobs, spur economic development, and workforce training opportunities in severely distressed census tracts. Eighty local farmer-owners currently support 200 farm jobs with expectation of an increase to 325 at completion of the project. The plant will utilize an additional 130 full-time employees at an average wage of $17/hour with quality benefits which include family health care options and retirement/pension. Temporary workers will be hired for peak shelling times, and 95 construction jobs filled for the building phase expected to be complete in time for the 2021 crop in December.
“Rural Development Partners is excited to support quality job creation that benefits local farmers and uplifts the entire region. I applaud this group for their amazing dedication and perseverance to mold a great idea into an enormously impactful reality.” – Jonathan Klaassen, RDP CEO
Rural Development Partners utilizes the NMTC Program to help organizations throughout the nation relocate and expand their operations in distressed rural communities. RDP investments help create jobs, economic growth, training opportunities, and food security for Rural America by partnering with organizations that take action to invest in and support their local communities. From 2004 through 2020, RDP has won nine NMTC awards from the U.S. Treasury totaling $606.7 million.