Are you keeping your New Year's resolutions?|
Story Archives: New sweet potato plant opens
|New sweet potato plant opens|
Work has started at ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston's $156 million plant in Richland Parish and the LSU AgCenter's Winnsboro research station will be an intricate part in churning out as much as 80,000 pounds of sweet potato fries per-hour, according to officials.
Gov. Bobby Jindal was at the plant, located in Dunn, to help company officials and other dignitaries cut the ribbon at opening ceremonies on Friday.
"It's hard to believe that just a little over a year ago we announced that Louisiana would be the home of this factory an now we can announce that it has opened," Jindal told employees gathered in the plant's supply storage area to celebrate the opening.
Jindal listed the LSU AgCenter's Sweet Potato Research Station as a selling point in brining the factory to northeast Louisiana, along with the region being able to supply a hard-working labor force.
Workers at the 175,000 square-foot facility on 138 acres are expected to process as much as 80,000 pounds of sweet potatoes per hour in three eight-hour shifts.
The company employs around 275 people, drawing about 10 percent of its workforce from Franklin Parish, said Dan Downard, the plant's human resources director.
The plant might not have been built in Louisiana if not for the research station in Winnsbroro, said Louisiana Agriculture Secretary Mike Strain.
"One of the reasons it's here is because that the AgCenter's research station is the premiere sweet potato research station in America and it's critical to production," Strain said. "The research that is ongoing for new varieties of sweet potatoes to some is a critical component of production at this factory."
For the full story, subscribe to the The Franklin Sun's NEW E-Edition!