Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: December 27, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez, |Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Contact: Michael Wallace Email: |Bates Family Farm, LLC Contact: Joseph Bates Email: |Russell County Industrial Development Authority Contact: Ernie McFaddin Email:

Governor Glenn Youngkin Announces Manufacturing Expansion in Russell County

Bates Family Farm leverages success of skincare line to build new manufacturing facility and creamery featuring goat milk, artisan cheese

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced that Bates Family Farm, LLC will create 12 new jobs and invest nearly $1 million to relocate its manufacturing facility to a 40,000 square foot building that is owned by Russell County to meet growing consumer demand for its skincare products. This space will allow for the development of new products, additional production capacity, and warehouse space. In addition, Bates Family Farm, LLC will construct a new creamery to produce food products, bottled goat milk and artisan cheeses, for wholesale and retail distribution. Bates Family Farm, LLC is committed to purchasing 100% of all expected agricultural products from Virginia, an increase of more than $2 million over the next three years as a result of this expansion. 

“I am pleased to see this AFID award assist in the relocation and expansion of Bates Family Farm, a Virginia home-grown, agricultural business, founded by one of our country’s veterans,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This project increases economic development activity in Russell County, provides new jobs in a rural area, and demonstrates our support of the Commonwealth’s dairy industry and to Virginia’s entire agricultural community.”  

“I congratulate the Bates family on this AFID award and thank them for their investment in Russell County and Virginia agriculture. The commitment to purchasing all Virginia grown goat milk is a tremendous benefit to Virginia goat milk producers and increases the visibility of specialty product producers in Southwest Virginia,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. 

Shannon and Joeph Bates established Bates Family Farm in Russell County in 2013. The company produces a full line of goat milk-based skincare products to include soap, lotion, lip balm, and body cream, that are sold in over 1,000 retail stores and specialty shops across the U.S.  

“This AFID grant award and the support we have received from Russell County are critical factors in our decision to move forward with this project. We are honored to grow our business in the county we call home and be part of Virginia’s agricultural community,” said Bates Family Farm CEO Joseph Bates. 

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Russell County and the Russell County Industrial Development Authority to secure the project for the Commonwealth. Governor Youngkin approved a $70,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which Russell County will match with local funds.  

“Russell County is committed to continuing to focus on agribusiness as a growing and vital part of our local economy. This project will not only create jobs and investment in the county, but also grow the business' contributions to local tax revenues,” said Russell County Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Ernie McFaddin. 

“This project is a win-win for Bates Family Farm, Virginia agriculture and the residents of Russell County,” said Delegate Will Morefield. 

“Thank you Bates Family Farm for your investment in Russell County,” said Senator Todd Pillion. “I am extremely pleased to see this public-private partnership help a Virginia small business expand its offerings and create jobs in a rural area.”


# # #