For Immediate Release: March 19, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Elaine Lidholm, 804-786-7686, Elaine.Lidholm@vdacs.virginia.gov | Richlands Creamery LLC, Coley Drinkwater, 434-294-0498, Cojodrinkwater@gmail.com

Governor Northam Announces $1.7 Million Investment, 17 New Jobs in Dinwiddie County

Richlands Creamery LLC to invest in Dinwiddie County and create 17 jobs

Richmond - Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Richlands Creamery, LLC will invest $1.7 million in Dinwiddie County to create a new commercial creamery and create seventeen new jobs over the next three years. The new creamery will be located at Richlands Dairy Farm, a commercial dairy and agritourism destination near the Town of Blackstone. As part of this project, Richlands Creamery, LLC is committing to purchasing 100% of its agricultural inputs from Virginia farmers, totaling nearly $1 million.

“I am pleased to announce that Richlands Creamery will soon begin operations in Dinwiddie County,” said Governor Northam. “Their commitment to investing in Virginia’s farmers and agricultural products will further strengthen our  economy, churn out new jobs, and pave the way for entrepreneurs with unique business models. This is exactly the kind of new opportunity my administration will continue working to create for families in very corner of the Commonwealth.”

“This investment by Richlands Creamery is great news for Dinwiddie County and the Commonwealth as it creates a new market for local milk and an important new agritourism destination that will draw visitors to the region,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am thrilled to partner with Dinwiddie County and the Virginia Tobacco Commission to help make this project a reality. This shows how working together, we can strengthen our economy to attract new jobs and investment to Virginia.” 

“Richlands has worked hard to become a quality destination over the last several years. They have developed into an integral part of Dinwiddie's tourism,” said Senator Frank Ruff.  “It is with pleasure that the Tobacco Commission is able to help them grow and continue their role as an attraction. It is great to see a family operation grow and prosper. "

“We are so grateful to receive an AFID grant for Richlands Creamery. This grant will allow us to build a milk processing facility with a retail store front to bottle and direct market milk and the best tasting ice cream in Virginia,” said Coley Jones Drinkwater, President of Richlands Creamery. “This in turn, will keep us from joining the mass exodus of dairy farms across the United States and preserve rural Virginia for all Commonwealth residents and visitors to enjoy during our various agritourism events throughout the year.”

“Richlands Dairy embodies the heart and soul of Dinwiddie County,” said Dr. Mark E. Moore, Chairman of the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors. “Its agricultural foundation and family-oriented operation enriches the lives of Dinwiddie citizens and those in Nottoway County as well. We are excited about their expansion and look forward to being home to Richlands Creamery.” 

“The citizens of central Virginia are extremely fortunate to have Richlands Dairy in the 63rd District. Now with the Dairy’s expansion to include Richlands Creamery, LLC, other young farmers and entrepreneurs can build on the promise of innovation that will grow rural industry in the 21st century,” added Delegate Aird. “In addition, Coley Jones Drinkwater should be commended as a woman for having the vision and drive to take a five-generation family agri-business to the next level.”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Dinwiddie County to secure this project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $20,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Dinwiddie County will match with local funds.

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