BATON ROUGE, LA. — Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana announced that Farmers Rice Milling Company Inc. has chosen to undertake a $13.4 million expansion and modernization of its rice mill in eastern Calcasieu Parish in Louisiana.
The 55,000-square-foot expansion of the mill’s clean rice packaging and distribution facility will allow the company to increase processing speed and volume.
“Farmers Rice Milling Co. has a long history of buying rice from Louisiana farmers, and we’re proud they’re expanding right here in our state,” Mr. Jindal said. “We’ve made retaining and expanding Louisiana’s existing businesses our top economic development priority since taking office in 2008, and this expansion is another example of our commitment to make Louisiana the best place in the world to find a great job and pursue a rewarding career. Farmers Rice Milling Co. could have chosen to invest in another state, but they picked Louisiana because of our strong business climate, outstanding farmers and our incomparable workforce.”
Farmers Rice Milling Co., a division of The Powell Group, operates the largest rice mill in Louisiana. The mill and related businesses form the largest agriculture-related business in Southwest Louisiana. Overall, the company employs more than 125 workers in the rice mill and related facilities in and around Lake Charles. The company employs an additional 25 at its headquarters in Baton Rouge.
“This project ensures Farmers Rice Milling will continue to purchase rice from the farmers of Southwest Louisiana and grow its position as a leader in the world rice market,” said James Warshaw, chief executive officer of Farmers Rice Milling.Farmers Rice Milling processes and mills rough rice at the Lake Charles facility, and then packages and distributes clean rice to customers from the site. The mill, which has been in business since 1917, is investing in the new facility to expand its output and meet the demand of national and international customers, the company said. The mill purchases rice from rice-growing regions throughout Louisiana and serves customers in the United States and worldwide, including Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. The mill purchases $120 million annually in locally grown rice, and is capable of processing more than 800 million lbs of rice per year.