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Agri-business adding new facility in Steuben County


Lord's Seed, LLC, an agricultural production company, has announced plans to expand its operations, creating up to 16 new jobs by 2016.

The Howe headquartered company will invest $13 million to construct and equip an 18,000 sq. ft. seed drying facility in Orland, bringing the company's total footprint in the community to 45,000 sq. ft. The new facility, which will be operational by the end of the summer, will allow the company to complete the drying and packaging process onsite.

Lord's Seed, which currently has 25 full-time employees in Indiana, has already begun hiring additional management and production personnel.

"We decided to expand our manufacturing operations due to the high freight costs of moving our raw products to other dryer facilities," said Mark Larimer, vice president of Lord's Seed. "Indiana is a clear choice due to the location of our production and quick access to the marketplace."

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation did work with Lord’s Seed, noted Keith Gillenwater with the LCEDC, but due to capacity issues with natural gas service at the site the company was interested in, it was not going to be cost effective for the company or the county to invest the money to run the necessary infrastructure. “We are working to address this issue going forward for future projects with NIPSCO, LaGrange County, and the LCEDC,” Gillenwater stated.

"With more than 15 million acres of farmland, Indiana's agriculture industry serves as a vital component of our state's economy," said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. "We remain committed to maintaining a business-friendly environment that allows long-time Indiana citizens like Lord's Seed to prosper and continue to strengthen the Hoosier State's agricultural landscape."

Operating in Northeast Indiana since 1975, Lord's Seed produces crops ranging from seed corn, seed soybeans, and hay to waxy corn for food consumption. The family-owned company, which operates six facilities in Indiana, produced 10,400 acres of seed corn last year for regional and multinational companies in the agriculture industry.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Lord's Seed LLC up to $100,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of Orland approved additional tax abatement at the request of the Steuben County Economic Development Corporation.

"Orland is happy to have Lord's Seed located in the community," said Kevin Kellett, president of the Orland Town Council. "This expansion project is very promising for their continued growth and we look forward to this expansion and future opportunities to assist Lord's Seed in Steuben County."