Governor Susana Martinez announced the creation of 103 new jobs in Dona Ana County. Wholesome Valley Foods will create 90 jobs with the renovation of the abandoned egg processing facility in Berino and New Mexico Greenhouse Holdings will create 13 new jobs with the expansion of their New Mexico operations in Mesilla Park. New Mexico beat out Colorado for New Mexico Greenhouse Holdings expansion.
"It's amazing to see our business incentives in action and how they bring jobs to New Mexico," said Governor Martinez. "We're going to continue fighting for the tools and reforms that are helping us grow and diversify our economy so companies like these can thrive and lift our communities up."
Wholesome Valley Farms will invest $12 million over 5 years to repurpose the abandoned egg processing plant in Berino creating hydroponic greenhouses, seed drying rooms, and cotton seed milling. They will create 90 permanent jobs over the same period. Wholesome Valley Farms will also conduct traditional farming operations adjacent to the facility, hiring up to 90 seasonal workers every year.
"We are extremely proud to partner with a community based company to bring jobs to Berino," said Economic Development Secretary Matt Geisel. "It's encouraging to see that our LEDA fund is allowing local companies to thrive while attracting significant investment from outside of New Mexico."
Wholesome Valley Farms is also applying for the New Mexico Environment Department's Voluntary Remediation and Brownfield loan to assist in remediate polluted groundwater at the Berino facility. The program exists to help convert abandoned, blighted, or potentially contaminated property to useable sites that qualify for redevelopment, investment, or re-sale.
"We are humbled by the support from the people of Berino and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the community," said Jay Hill farm manager for Wholesome Valley Farms. "Because of the community support and the LEDA incentives that Governor Martinez has championed, we are able to bring life back to this abandoned facility."
New Mexico Greenhouse Holdings originally invested $2 million to open their Mesilla Park facility in 2015. They will invest an additional $5.4 million to expand their current facility to meet growing demand from their largest customer, Whole Foods. They will create 13 new jobs to service the expanded farming operation.
"We are proud to be making another investment in New Mexico," said Matthew Stong, a partner at New Mexico Greenhouse Holdings."In our decision to expand, New Mexico came out on top as a result of the strong incentives available to expanding companies."
The New Mexico Economic Development Department will invest up to $620,000 in Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funds in Wholesome Valley Farms' new facility. The Department will also invest up to $150,000 in LEDA funds for New Mexico Greenhouse Holdings' expansion. LEDA is New Mexico's closing fund, a tool that recruits new businesses to the state while helping those that are already here grow and thrive. Governor Martinez fought to grow the closing fund to $56 million, up from nearly zeroed out when she took office.
"With this announcement, we are experiencing the growth of new industry and opportunity rooted in the historical agricultural assets of the region", stated Davin Lopez President and CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance. "After over a year working closely with the company and community, we are proud to help bring this project to fruition."