Multi-Regional Farming Operation Partners with Newstead Ranch in the Finger Lakes Region to Create More Than 50 New Jobs
Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Duncan Family Farms, one of the leading organic growers in the United States, has expanded into New York State, establishing operations in Monroe County. The company has partnered with local agribusiness Newstead Ranch to support the effort in Brockport. Duncan Family Farms is an organic grower which specializes in the variety of commodities that are included in spring mix salad as well as spinach. The company has been nationally recognized for its progressive and environmentally-sensitive farming techniques. Supporting agri-business is an important component of the regionally designed Finger Lakes Forward economic development plan.
"The economic momentum in the Finger Lakes is clear - and with this exciting announcement, it continues strong," Governor Cuomo said. "By expanding in Monroe County, Duncan Family Farms will create jobs and encourage further economic activity - helping to continue to push the Finger Lakes further forward."
Duncan Family Farms provides product for many processors in North America, Canada and in the United Kingdom. Its' customers in turn provide bagged salads to the retail and food service industries.
Arnott Duncan, CEO of Duncan Family Farms said, "We are looking forward to growing our partnership with the Kreher Family and their team. Working with them will allow us to expand on our mission to provide clean, healthy, life-giving food. We are also very excited to become contributing members of some wonderful local communities."
Caleb Ayers, General Manager of Duncan Family Farms Northeast said, "We are excited to have the opportunity to expand into the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. Being able to bring new partnerships, commodities and innovation to an area that is steeped in American Agricultural tradition is an absolute honor. We look forward to the future, to the strength and growth it will bring to this business and this community."
In order to encourage Duncan Family Farms to expand to Upstate New York, Empire State Development has offered up to $865,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. The total project cost is approximately $11.8 million and will result in the creation of 50 new jobs.
Duncan Family Farms will be growing baby leaf items such as spinach, arugula, and romaine lettuces for customers throughout the region and along the east coast and plan to expand into other specialty vegetable crops as the farm grows its team. Duncan's method of production will allow the vegetables to be in the store quicker while creating a much smaller carbon footprint by reducing food miles.
Michael Kreher, a family partner in Newstead Ranch said, "We are very fortunate to be able to work with another family farm whose values of caring for their people, the community and the land align so closely with ours. It is particularly exciting to grow these crops closer to where people are eating them providing a fresher product to consumers in our region."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership, top companies are recognizing that Upstate New York is a great place to do business. With its high quality of life and strong, motivated workforce, the Finger Lakes region has everything a company like Duncan Family Farms needs to succeed."
FLREDC Co-Chairs Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy said, "Supporting agri-business partnerships such as this aligns perfectly with the regional council's strategy.We applaud Duncan Family Farms' decision to expand its operations in the region as it will serve to further strengthen the local economy as we continue the work of moving the Finger Lakes Forward."
Duncan Family Farms is owned by a fourth generation Arizona farmer. In 1994, the farm was expanded to include organic production growing baby leaf greens and in 2010 expanded its operations into California where to set up an operation that provides year-round supply of organic kale, chards, beets, romaine hearts, other lettuce varieties and herbs. In addition to its California operation, the company has multi-regional locations in Central Arizona, Imperial Valley and the Central Coast.
Senator Rob Ortt said, "The agriculture industry plays a vital role in our region, so we're pleased Duncan Family Farms has chosen to expand into Brockport. This expansion project brings new jobs to the area, supports local, hardworking farmers, and helps to strengthen the economy all while meeting the demand for fresh, locally grown food."
Assemblyman Steve Hawley said, "New York's ever-growing and premium agriculture industry has strong roots right here in Western New York, and the news of Duncan Family Farms expansion into Brockport is even more evidence of the strength of our producers and growers. Having owned and operated our family farm for several decades, I know the supreme dedication and persistence it takes to succeed in the agriculture industry. I can personally attest to the superlative agricultural practices of the Kreher Family and thank them for their continued efforts in partnering with new businesses and helping to create jobs. With organic farming rapidly growing in popularity, I look forward to the success of Duncan Family Farms and wish them the best of luck."
For more about Duncan Family Farms, click here.
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today's announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
(Photo credit: Duncan Family Farms Facebook)