Atmore, AL – Rural Development Partners allocated $15 million in New Markets Tax Credits to farmer-owned Coastal Growers LLC for the construction of a new peanut shelling facility in Atmore, Alabama. This investment mitigated farmer risk, created jobs, and induced catalytic economic opportunities in a great community. The new operation created 130 quality jobs at the plant, 125 new farmer-supported jobs, 95 construction jobs, and economic opportunities that are stabilizing the region.
RDP’s allocation purchased real estate and equipment for the new 475,000 SF facility which was completed in time for the 2021 peanut harvest, and is capable of producing 200,000 tons of shelled peanuts a year. The Coastal Growers project allowed 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 put great financial strain on local farmers. Peanut farmers within a 200-mile radius including Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia creatively took control of their future by organizing Coastal Growers LLC.
“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 farmers the best chance to enhance earnings and have a sustainable family farm.” – Joe Parker, owner-member of Coastal Growers LLC
The Coastal Growers LLC project aligns great with RDP’s mission to create quality jobs, spur economic development, and workforce training opportunities in severely distressed census tracts. The investment is helping to spur catalytic economic growth in a community excited for revitalization and expansion opportunities.
“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