leading lawn and garden manufacturer selects virginia for expansion

Leading lawn and garden manufacturer selects Virginia for expansion

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Oldcastle APG, the second largest manufacturer of lawn and garden products in North America, is renovating a vacant building in the city of Suffolk into one of the company’s most technologically advanced manufacturing operations.

This will be the company’s second lawn and garden operation in the Virginia, alongside Mountain Materials in Russell County, and will lead to new investment, and the creation of 28 new jobs.

Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina for the project, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“I am thrilled this international company is choosing to grow its presence in Virginia and thank them for the new jobs and economic opportunity they are bringing to the city of Suffolk,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Forestry is Virginia’s third largest private industry and brings an economic impact of more than $21 billion to the state each year, according to Matthew Lohr, the secretary of agriculture and forestry. The industry also supports more than 108,000 jobs.

“Virginia’s loggers, mills and landowners need strong markets for every part of the tree in order to drive our forestry industry forward,” said Lohr. “That is why I am grateful to Oldcastle APG for this investment and the major new market the facility will create for bark, chips and other co-products from our lumber and paper industries.”

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Oldcastle APG’s lawn and garden division employs more than 1,100 employees across 43 manufacturing sites in the U S.

The company will work with area mills, loggers and tree service businesses to source approximately 80 percent of its forest product needs from the Commonwealth, which includes Virginia grown logs, bark and pulpwood products over the next three years.

The company will convert this material into a variety of premium garden soils, potting mixes and mulches, either bagged for retail sale at major retailers throughout the mid-Atlantic or for bulk sale to commercial landscapers and nurseries.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Suffolk to secure the project for Virginia.

Governor Youngkin approved a $50,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which is administered by VDACS, to win the project for the Commonwealth. The city of Suffolk’s economic development authority is matching the AFID award with local funds.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.