**New hydroponic greenhouse project is expected to create nearly 80 jobs**
BERLIN – The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development has awarded North Country Growers, LLC a loan of $25 million for the construction of a hydroponic greenhouse.
The high-technology greenhouse will support food production in the New England area, reduce produce shipping time and create additional jobs in Northern New Hampshire. The company expects to produce 8 million pounds of tomatoes and 15 million heads of lettuce.
North Country Growers, LLC will use the funds to construct a 20-acre hydroponic greenhouse, a project that will create nearly 80 jobs. The company expects the greenhouse to help reduce shipping time within the targeted New England market to eight hours to the grocer’s shelf compared to several days for produce from the western U.S. or Mexico.
It is anticipated that a second phase of the project will double the size of the facility and create additional jobs.
U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced the loan on Tuesday.
“This loan is a win-win for the North Country,” said Senator Shaheen. “This exciting new project will create new jobs in an innovative sector of the agriculture economy. This impressive project is energy efficient and will supply local healthy food throughout the region. I want to congratulate North County Growers on receiving this grant from USDA Rural Development. I’ll continue to advocate for USDA grants that make critical investments in our local agricultural businesses because supporting New Hampshire’s agricultural sector is good for Granite State jobs and our state’s economy.”
“New Hampshire’s agriculture industry is essential to our economy and our way of life, and it is critical that farmers and rural communities in the Granite State have the support they need,” Senator Hassan said. “The USDA Rural Development funds for North Country Growers will help create jobs, provide the region with healthy food, and contribute to New Hampshire’s innovation economy. I will continue to fight to protect the USDA from President Trump’s proposed budget cuts, which would undermine our ability to support farmers and rural communities in New Hampshire and across America.”