NH Greenhouse Project Gets $25 Million Federal Loan
An agricultural organization based in Berlin, New Hampshire, North County Growers LLC, was recently awarded a loan of $25 million from the United States Department of Agricultural Rural Development. The loan is intended to go toward the company’s hydroponic greenhouse project. Purchase of the property was expected to be finalized during the last week of July 2017.
On Tuesday, July 25, 2017, New Hampshire’s congressional delegation announced that the loan had met approval for the construction of two greenhouses spanning 10 acres each for the annual production of eight million pounds of tomatoes and 15 million heads of lettuce. In addition, the new greenhouses are expected to create as many as 80 new full-time jobs.
The mayor of Berlin, Paul Grenier, said that the announcement is wonderful news for both the city and region alike and that Berlin and North County Growers would close later that week on the land. The land encompasses 172 acres and is located on East Milan Road. The city sold it to the company for $680,000.
Grenier stated that “The sale is imminent. Everything is in place.”
Sam Garth, a spokesman for North County Growers LLC, reported that the company was working extremely hard to have the closing completed by Wednesday, July 26 or Thursday, July 27, 2017. He added that depending on when exactly the closing was done, construction for the project would begin as early as the following week.
North County Growers is a subsidiary of AmericanAgEnergy. NCG LLC said that it expected the greenhouse to help reduce the time for shipping within the market in the New England area to only eight hours versus the several days it normally takes for produce to be shipped from the western part of the United States or from Mexico. In June, at a presentation, the CEO of North County Growers, Dr. Richard Rosen, stated that the company’s production was committed to supermarkets and wholesalers first and foremost.
After the completion of the closing, there are plans for a second phase. The purpose of that second phase is to double the size of the facility and create even more jobs.
The unemployment rate in Berlin, New Hampshire dropped to only 4.4 percent in the month of May. Mayor Grenier stated that the creation of the new greenhouse jobs would close that gap and move the residents of Berlin that much closer to full employment. He added that the new 80 jobs would certainly make a dent.
United States senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen and US Congresswoman Annie Kuster made the announcement that the loan had been granted to the company.
Congresswoman Kuster stated that at this current time, there is even more awareness about eating food that is locally grown and that the project in Berlin would help people in New Hampshire and the other New England states to have better access to fresh vegetables.
Senator Shaheen said that the North County Growers project is exciting and would create many new jobs in the agricultural sector. She added that the project is not only energy efficient but would also provide individuals throughout the region with wonderful healthy food that is locally grown.
Senator Hassan stated that the loan from the USDA Rural Development would help to provide more healthy food to people throughout the area and create new jobs and that both would contribute to innovation within the New Hampshire economy. She declared that she would continue to protect the USDA against President Trump’s proposed budget cuts that would adversely affect the ability to support rural communities and farmers in New Hampshire as well as throughout the United States.