A seed coating factory is expected to be up and running the beginning of next year in the southwest Missouri community of Lamar. Mayor Kent Harris tells Missourinet he’s happy Smith Seed Services shares the same vision to bring more jobs to the community of 4,500 people.

Photo courtesy of Smith Seed Services

“Our population has stayed very stable. We know that it’s a great place to live. We want it to be a great place also to work. That’s why we are just excited to kind of get back on track to that. I just feel like this is going to be the first step of several things that are to come for the city of Lamar. I consider this answered prayer.”

The wholesale lawn and garden seed company, which is headquartered in Oregon, is expected to hire about 40 workers. According to the future plant’s division manager, Brian Jaasko, the jobs will consist of full-time, temporary employees. He says the average pay for the workers has not been released.

“This facility is going to be brought up to speed in phases over the course of the next three to four years,” Jaasko. “When we’re looking at the number of people that we’re going to employ right off the bat, we’ll have a footprint but it’s not going to be the whole footprint until we kind of get developed. We want to create jobs that are going to be here ten years from now.”

He says a few things attracted the company to Lamar.

“Ease of access on and off of Highway 71 is a good idea. There are excellent raw material resources in this area,” Jaasko. “There is a fair amount of seed grown in the area. The hauling charges would be lower for a lot of our customers to get their seed coated.”

Harris says having the company’s factory centrally located in the U.S. is an advantage for Smith Seed Services.

“They have been looking for some time for an area east of Halsey, Oregon to more serve the Midwest and even further east United States,” he says. “There is on the site, which they have purchased at this point, several large warehouses which they were very interested in having, that goes right along with what they would need to add onto.”

The state and local incentives given have not been made public.

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