Shenandoah Valley Organic to create 110 jobs in Harrisonburg
Company to expand production capabilities with 75,000-square-foot facility
Shenandoah Valley Organic, a family-owned organic chicken company, will establish a second, 75,000-square-foot facility in Harrisonburg, increasing production capacity and retail packaging abilities. The expansion will create 110 jobs, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
Founded by sixth-generation farmer Corwin Heatwole, Shenandoah Valley Organic mission is to partner with independent family farmers to raise organic chickens. Headquartered in Harrisonburg, all of the family-owned company’s products are sourced from nearly 70 family farms. Virginia competed with West Virginia for the expansion.
“We chose Harrisonburg to expand because this community and city is a big part of our success to date,” says Corwin Heatwole, CEO of Shenandoah Valley Organic. “Our production team and our farmers live here and come with tremendous experience in the poultry industry. We are fortunate to live in the beautiful valley, but are close to large East Coast markets where organic poultry demand is high.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Harrisonburg, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. Ralph Northam approved a performance-based grant of $800,000 from the Virginia Investment Performance program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies.
“Shenandoah Valley Organic is a homegrown Virginia company that has thrived in Harrisonburg since its founding in 2014,” Northam said in a statement. “As a leading agricultural region, the Shenandoah Valley is a natural fit for a business like SVO that partners with family farms, which remain the backbone of the local economy. This significant expansion speaks forcefully about the commonwealth’s strong infrastructure, dedicated workforce and bright economic future.”
Northam also approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and a $500,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which supports projects sourcing Virginia-grown products, to assist the City of Harrisonburg with the project. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for new, full-time jobs created. Funding and services to support Shenandoah Valley Organic’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“Since establishing its manufacturing operation in the city of Harrisonburg, Shenandoah Valley Organic has become a valued partner and employer in the commonwealth,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “Food and beverage processing are the heart of the Shenandoah Valley’s manufacturing sector and the region offers a ready-to-work talent pool in the industry. We thank SVO for reinvesting in Virginia, and we look forward to its next chapter of growth.”