Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced March 15 that Shamrock Farms, one of the largest family owned and operated dairies in the U.S., will build a $50 million dairy manufacturing facility in Augusta County, Va.
Virginia competed against Maryland and West Virginia for the project.
McDonnell said, "This new dairy manufacturing facility is the perfect fit for a region rich in agricultural history and committed to attracting industry that supports that history. I am confident Shamrock Farms will benefit from the skilled workforce and infrastructure available, while complementing the existing enterprise base, utilizing locally produced materials, including locally sourced milk, and helping advance the local economy."
Virginia Secretary of Commerce & Trade Jim Cheng added, "With the construction of a new 130,000 sq. ft. facility, with room for expansion, Mill Place Commerce Park gains a new corporate tenant and the region gains 60 new employment opportunities. Shamrock Farms is a company with a rich 90-year history, and I look forward to its success in Virginia in the years ahead."
The new state-of-the-art Shamrock Farms dairy manufacturing facility will produce extended shelf life (ESL) products including Shamrock Farms on-the-go mmmmilk and Rockin' Refuel, a new line of protein-fortified milk designed for muscle building and recovery used by sports teams in more than 150 colleges and universities nationwide, the announcement said.
"We're thrilled to be joining the Augusta County community, the Commonwealth of Virginia has been very welcoming and from both a business and a company culture perspective, it's the perfect fit for Shamrock Farms,” said Kent McClelland, chief executive officer of Shamrock Foods Co. and third generation of McClelland family leadership. "This national expansion and increased capacity will allow us to provide more great-tasting and innovative milk products to people across the country."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. McDonnell approved a $250,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Augusta County with the project. The governor also approved $50,000 from the Governor's Agriculture & Forestry Industries Development Fund, a grant made to businesses that add value to Virginia-grown agricultural and forestal products.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Shamrock's family farm hosts a herd of more than 10,000 cows, and was founded in 1922 in Tucson, Ariz.