September 11, 2019 06:54 PM
(AB 6 News) - After a warm welcome from Mason City major Bill Schickel and a welcoming to the neighborhood from nearby Alliant Energy, Minnesota based tomato company Bushel Boy Farms broke ground on their new 50-acre facility in Mason City.
Wednesday’s groundbreaking kicked off part one in a three-part project that'll include a five-acre high-tech greenhouse.
"Shortly after that, if all goes as planned our business prospects will allow us to open a second phase of 16 and a half additional acres and then off in the future, we have another 16 and a half acres that could be sited at this particular location." Mentioned Bushel Boy Farms President, Steve Irland.
Irland says land availably, economic support, access to a strong workforce and the willingness from the City of Mason City to collaborate were all key factors in their decision to expand into north Iowa.
"This discussion’s been going on for four-plus years. We're very gratified that it's finally coming to fruition. The receptiveness that we've seen from the northern Iowa business community and governmental officials has just been tremendous." Irland said.
At a time of major growth and development for the city, Mayor Bill Schickel says the company is a perfect fit.
"Bushel Boy Farms locating in Mason City builds on the momentum that we're seeing. About 20 businesses right now are looking at either locating or expanding here, investing about 230 million dollars." Schickel said.
As with any big business, skilled work and a significant amount of expertise will be needed to manage operations effectively. The new facility will bring around 50 full-time jobs to the city.
"Growing tomatoes in a greenhouse environment year-round is also a highly technical job. So we'll be looking for skilled people who have some experience there, but also have an education in agriculture, horticulture or agronomy." Said Irland.
The project is scheduled for completion in October of 2020 with the first harvest in December of 2020.
Created: September 11, 2019 06:54 PM
Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company