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By Isis Simpson-Mersha (Mlive.com) | email@example.com
CARROLLTON TWP, MI -- A partnership between Westway Feed Products and Michigan Sugar Co. plans to spark new economic activity in Carrollton Township and Saginaw County.
Michigan Sugar, an agricultural cooperative based in Bay City and Westway Feed Products, a global supplier of agricultural-based liquid solution from Tomball, Texas, held a snow-breaking ceremony for a new 3,700-square- foot liquid feed plant in Carrollton Township on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Local business and economic development leaders gathered around the business partners clad in hard hats as they took shovels to snow in a symbolic gesture to break ground.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provided a grant to help fund construction of the $1 million plant. Saginaw Future helped to apply for the grant.
The facility will be operated by Westway and serve dairy and beef cattle farms in the Thumb region. Michigan Sugar will supply molasses as a key ingredient in the liquid feed products.
"This development is particularly important as it is a partnership with Michigan Sugar, which has been an outstanding corporate citizen and neighbor for many years," said JoAnn Crary, president and CEO of Saginaw Future. "It will also spark additional investment at a site that is very important to this community and to Saginaw County."
Greg McLean, director of strategic development for Westway Feed Products said the molasses helps cattle to digest their food more fully.
"The products that we make here at liquid feed plants contain - especially with the beet molasses - high levels of sugar still left in the molasses after they process it," McLean said. "So those high levels of sugar provide a energy for the animals to be able more fully digest their roughage and their other feed."
The new facility will employ four people, plus a salesperson and technical support.
"The exciting new partnership announced today will spark new economic activity in Carrollton Township and Saginaw County, while providing another new market for Michigan Sugar's sugar beet farmers and further adding to our cooperative's strong regional footprint," said Mark Flegenheimer, president and CEO of Michigan Sugar. "We're proud to work alongside Westway Feed Products and all of the public and private partners that came together to make this new project possible."
The facility will be built by Pumford Construction Co. of Saginaw. The company plans to begin construction on Monday, Feb. 12, and complete it by this fall.
Scott Johnson, project manager for Pumford Construction, said the plant construction will draw more than $1 million in initial capital investment to the region.
"Michigan Sugar Company continues to be a pillar of our community, and we appreciate their efforts to create additional investment and jobs in Carrollton Township," said Carrollton Township Manager Phillip Abney. "We welcome Westway Feed Products to our community, and thank them for their hard work to forge new partnerships in Michigan and bring their business to our state."