For Immediate Release: October 1, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Elaine Lidholm, Elaine.Lidholm@vdacs.virginia.gov | Hampton Farms: Holly Washington, HWashington@hamptonfarms.com

Governor Northam Announces Leading Peanut Processor to Expand Production in Southampton County

Hampton Farms to create new jobs, increase production of peanut butter

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Hampton Farms, a division of Severn Peanut Company, Inc., will invest $5.735 million to install a bulk peanut butter production line at its peanut processing operation in Southampton County. As a result of this expansion, the company will create 14 new jobs and increase its already significant purchases of Virginia-grown peanuts by an additional $6 million, or 12 million pounds over the next three years.

“Investments like these spread new jobs and economic vitality to our rural communities, while also creating important market opportunities for our farmers,” said Governor Northam. “This is another great win for the Commonwealth’s thriving food and beverage industry, for this region, and for the Virginia economy. I congratulate Hampton Farms on this important expansion and thank them for their continued growth and investment in the Commonwealth.”

Hampton Farms is well known for its extensive line of in-shell peanuts, gourmet peanuts, and nut butters sold under its own Hampton Farms label, as well as under private labels, and most notably, all in-shell peanuts for Major League Baseball. This expansion allows the company to increase sales to food manufacturers and institutional customers filling large format orders ranging from five-pound pails to 1,700-pound totes. 

“Virginia has a rich history and strong connection with peanuts both as the birthplace of commercial peanut production and as the largest and most sought kind of peanuts, the Virginia type,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “This strong connection has brought new opportunities for our farmers and new jobs and industries for our communities. I am thrilled to celebrate this expansion with Hampton Farms.”

“Hampton Farms has been a valuable Virginia employer for many years and has cultivated a lasting relationship with the Southampton County community,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The company’s decision to reinvest in its peanut processing facility will result in new jobs for rural Virginians, increased purchasing from local farmers, and an even stronger, more diversified regional economy. We are proud that the leading roaster of in-shell peanuts in the U.S. has chosen to expand in the Commonwealth and are confident that Hampton Farms will continue to thrive in Southampton County.”

“Hampton Farms is appreciative of the support from the Commonwealth of Virginia and Southampton County,” said President and CEO of Hampton Farms Dallas Barnes. “We are pleased to announce we will be moving additional production to the Franklin, Virginia facility and as a result we will be creating 14 new jobs. The new machinery and equipment, and additional production capacity will allow us to better service our customers and consumers.  Our sincere thanks to Amanda Jarratt and Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc., the Commonwealth, Southampton County and the City of Franklin.”

The Commonwealth partnered with Southampton County and Hampton Farms on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and made to businesses that add value to Virginia-grown agricultural and forestall products.

Governor Northam approved a $100,000 grant from the AFID Fund, which Southampton County will match with local funds. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

“Congratulations Hampton Farms for your expansion in Southampton County,” said Senator L. Louise Lucas. “The expansion will have a tremendous impact on the local economy and add value to the Virginia-grown agricultural and forestall industry.”

“I am pleased that Hampton Farms is expanding its peanut processing operations and peanut butter production line in Southampton County. The 14 new jobs created will benefit our families and provide additional revenue to boost the economy of rural Virginia,” said Delegate Roslyn C. Tyler. “Small businesses makes up 46.9% of the private workforce in Virginia. I have always been a supporter of increasing small businesses opportunities in the 75th district. The Commonwealth’s partnership with local governments and small businesses has been beneficial to rural areas with business expansion and new business initiatives requiring additional revenue and training support during Governor Northam’s Administration. Thank you, Hampton Farms for continuing to invest in Southampton County and the Commonwealth.”

“We could not be more ecstatic over the Hampton Farms expansion,” said Southampton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dallas Jones. “Agriculture drives our local economy, and this announcement not only increases our local tax base and provides additional employment opportunities for our citizens, but provides a market for an agricultural product grown in Southampton County.”

“Hampton Farms is a significant contributor to the entire Franklin Southampton economy,” said Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. Chairman Brian Hedgepeth. “We are thrilled to have been able to assist them with this expansion and look forward to their continued growth in our community.” 

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