Bushel Boy Farms planning for future growth

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(ABC 6 NEWS) – About a year ago, Bushel Boy Farms opened in Mason City, and as the facility grows tomatoes, the business is growing as well.

The company has been around since the 90s and started in Owatonna.

There are nine greenhouses in Owatonna, and the company needed more space, so they decided to open one in Mason City.

"Being able to cover the entire state of Iowa, being able to reach as far as Chicago and St. Louis and Kansas City as ways for our business to continue to grow," President of Bushel Boy Farms, Chuck Tryon said.

City leaders said it was good news to have another food processor come to the mainly healthcare-based town.

"I think having balance. We are not solely reliant on any one industry but we are seeing good growth in all of our current industries," President and CEO of the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, Robin Anderson said.

The company produces about 50,000 tomatoes a day at the 17-acre facility, and they try to do it in an environmentally friendly way.

"We capture all of the rainwater, all of the snow melt off of this entire facility, so we capture it, hold it in a holding tank, and then use that to feed the plant, to provide water to the plants," Tryon said.

The new facility brought 50 new jobs to Mason City.

"We had almost 50% growth as we opened up this facility we are going to in essence in about two years we are going to be able to double the revenue that we have historically had," Tryon said.

The hope is to keep growing along with the city.

"We want to be part of that growth, we want to be a part of the revitalization of the downtown corridor and just of the surrounding area," Tryon said.

The chamber is also helping to make sure as companies like Bushel Boy grow, they can keep up too.

"Our workforce is aging, so we need to be focused on workforce attraction and workforce retention so the things that we are working on to assist with workforce attraction are housing initiatives," Anderson said.

As for the future of Bushel Boy, they mainly serve grocery stores, but they are starting to provide produce to schools and restaurants.

But soon, you might see more from Bushel Boy. They’ve started growing strawberries in Owatonna and are looking into other things to grow inside of their greenhouses.

They are also expecting to add more acreage to the Mason City farm in the coming years.