In a win for Kentucky’s growing agritech sector, Gov. Andy Beshear and leaders from EnviroFlight LLC announced the company’s plans to add 40 jobs in Maysville with a nearly $20 million expansion.
EnviroFlight, which produces black soldier fly larvae for animal and plant nutrition, established its Kentucky production facility just two years ago.
“As a key contributor to the commonwealth’s agritech industry, it’s a testament to EnviroFlight and Kentucky’s partnership that the company will expand so soon after opening in Maysville,” Gov. Beshear said. “This project, with its impact on Mason County and the surrounding region’s workforce, will help build a better future for Kentuckians. I want to thank EnviroFlight for growing its presence in the commonwealth, and I expect we will see much more in the years ahead.”
EnviroFlight’s leaders plan to expand the current 112,500-square-foot facility on Progress Way in Maysville by more than 173,000 square feet to accommodate new production and meet customer demand. EnviroFlight, which has grown from 12 employees at opening to a current staff of 73 people, is expected to add 40 new positions that include production and processing techs, engineering, data analysis and statistician positions. Company leaders expect the expansion project to get underway in January and be completed by September 2021.
“We are excited to expand our U.S. capacity as the demand for insect-based ingredients continues to grow. EnviroFlight’s concerted efforts to gain U.S. regulatory approval for our products, as well as our core strengths in agriculture, feed manufacturing and the animal nutrition industry, uniquely position us for growth in this exciting industry,” said Liz Koutsos, president of EnviroFlight. “The decision to expand in Maysville was an easy one due to the incredible support we’ve received from Maysville, Mason County and the State of Kentucky. We are proud to be part of the Kentucky AgriTech initiative, as the first commercial scale producer of black soldier fly larvae in the U.S.”
Founded in 2009, EnviroFlight produces sustainable insect ingredients designed for animal and plant nutrition with an emphasis on social responsibility and reducing the environmental and financial costs in developing a food supply. The company is a subsidiary of Darling Ingredients Inc., an international producer of organic ingredients used in sustainable protein and fat products, as well as renewable clean energy. Darling operates on five continents, where it collects waste from the agri-food industry, which is repurposed into specialty ingredients, such as hydrolyzed collagen, edible and feed-grade fats, animal proteins and meals, plasma, pet food ingredients, fuel feedstocks and green bioenergy.
Through the Governor’s AgriTech initiative, Team Kentucky is working to establish the state as an agritech leader for the nation. The initiative joins Kentucky’s advanced-manufacturing sector with our deep roots in agriculture. It partners Kentucky entities with international players to leverage best practices and technologies. Those efforts will foster innovation and growth in the industry for the long term.
Maysville Mayor Charlie Cotterill said the jobs created by the project could make a difference for dozens of families.
“The City of Maysville is elated with EnviroFlight’s announcement. While the cutting-edge technology that EnviroFlight has developed is phenomenal, I’m personally very pleased with the additional high-paying, career-making jobs this announcement brings to Maysville and that will help support local families,” Mayor Cotterill said. “I’m thrilled to see the EnviroFlight investment and the addition to our ever-growing employment base here in Maysville, Kentucky.”
Mason County Judge/Executive Joe Pfeffer said the company has a unique approach in working closely with the community.
“It’s been amazing to watch EnviroFlight’s growth locally. Their openness and willingness to partner with local government has paid positive dividends for both entities as Mason County receives a phenomenal, cutting-edge agritech employer while we feel, as locals, we’ve brought valuable ideas and assistance to them,” Judge/Executive Pfeffer said. “EnviroFlight is always willing to listen to new ideas and solutions, almost making us feel as if we’re part of their growing team. We appreciate the investment in Mason County as well as the underlying sense of partnership.”
Owen McNeill, executive director of the Maysville-Mason County Industrial Development Authority, said the company will be a great fit for Kentucky’s burgeoning agritech industry.
“The EnviroFlight expansion project highlights potential. EnviroFlight and Darling have assembled a team of incredibly talented individuals pushing the agritech envelope daily and this announcement marks another milestone in an explosively positive trajectory,” McNeill said. “It’s also indicative of the commonwealth’s and Gov. Beshear’s focus on agritech and its potential. Finally, EnviroFlight’s announcement is another indicator of the economic groundswell and increasing momentum of the Maysville and Mason County region. As a community, we’re excited to see what the future holds for EnviroFlight and we are proud that they call Maysville home.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $800,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $19.78 million and annual targets of:
•Creation and maintenance of 40 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
•Paying an average hourly wage of $22 including benefits across those jobs.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Enviroflight for up to $100,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, Enviroflight can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
(provided by the Office of Gov. Andy Beshear)