The agriculture company Coastal Growers is planning to invest $87 million to build a peanut shelling facility near Atmore that will employ over 100 workers.
News of the project was announced by the office of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday morning.
“We are excited to be able to announce this project today, to bring peanut shelling to south Alabama, and to bring economic benefit to the hard-working farmers of our state who so desperately need it,” said Paul Turner, attorney for Coastal Growers, in a statement.
Turner said the facility plans to have around 100 full-time employees making at least $17 an hour, with more positions open during the busy times of the year.
“The Coastal Growers facility in Atmore will become a vital resource for peanut farmers in Alabama and beyond by helping to make their operations more sustainable and profitable,” Ivey said.
Atmore is located just northeast of Baldwin County and sits adjacent to the border between Alabama and Florida.
Coastal Growers is a company owned by farmers in the general vicinity of where the shelling facility will be built.
“This facility will be owned by the farmers that use it, and they’ll keep those profits themselves,” advised Mark Kaiser a farmer from Baldwin County.
He added, “That’s good for both the farmers and for the immediate area, because the money will just keep turning over locally.”
Construction of the peanut shelling plant, which will be over 400,000 square feet, will be handled by Hollis and Spann, a contractor in Dothan led by Glenn Spivey.
Alex Jones, a banker with ties to the project, said the plant was financed by a mixture of “New Market Tax Credits, incentives and traditional financing.”
“We have farmers from one side of the state to the other who are involved in this, in Florida and Mississippi as well, and even up the state into the Sand Mountain area,” Jones remarked.
“[I] t’s going to mean a lot for our region, for Atmore, for Escambia County and our state,” he promised.
Governor Ivey concluded, “I look forward to seeing the impact that this project is going to have for our farmers and for the region.”