BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, U.S. — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Farmers Rice Milling Company Inc. announced on Jan. 22 a $13.4 million expansion and modernization of the company’s rice mill in eastern Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, U.S.
The 55,000-square-foot expansion of the mill’s clean rice packaging and distribution facility will allow the company to increase processing speed and volume. The project will retain 87 jobs at the rice mill, with an average salary of $34,500, plus benefits.
“Farmers Rice Milling Company has a long history of buying rice from Louisiana farmers, and we’re proud they’re expanding right here in our state. We’ve made retaining and expanding Louisiana’s existing businesses our top economic development priority since taking office in 2008, and this expansion is another example of our commitment to make Louisiana the best place in the world to find a great job and pursue a rewarding career,” Jindal said. “Farmers Rice Milling Company could have chosen to invest in another state, but they picked Louisiana because of our strong business climate, outstanding farmers and our incomparable workforce.”
Farmers Rice Milling Company, a division of The Powell Group, operates the largest rice mill in Louisiana. Overall, the company employs more than 125 workers in the rice mill and related facilities in and around Lake Charles.
“This project ensures Farmers Rice Milling will continue to purchase rice from the farmers of Southwest Louisiana and grow its position as a leader in the world rice market,” said company Chief Executive Officer James Warshaw. “Farmers Rice Milling Company has been a key part of the agricultural economy in Louisiana for over 90 years, employing hundreds of workers and buying services from vendors and suppliers around the state.”
Farmers Rice Milling processes and mills rough rice at the Lake Charles facility, and then packages and distributes clean rice to customers from the site. The mill, which has been in continuous business since 1917, is investing in the new facility to expand its output and meet the demand of national and international customers.
The mill purchases rice from rice-growing regions throughout Louisiana and serves customers in the U.S. and worldwide, including Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. The mill purchases $120 million annually in locally grown rice, and supports those who work in the rice industry, from farmers to truck drivers. The mill is capable of processing more than 800 million pounds of rice per year.
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