One of the leading processors of rice in the state of Louisiana, Supreme Rice, recently announced that they are investing $16.2 million in the development of new parboil facilities in the towns of Crowley and Mermentau, according to The Advocate and a statement from the Governor’s office.
Supreme Rice, known for being one of the largest rice-milling operations in the state of Louisiana, plans to begin the construction of the new two facilities by the fourth quarter of 2022. The plan is to develop a new parboil mill inside of Crowley’s existing facility and to build a new greenfield facility in Mermentau for the company’s parboil operations and to partially cook rice for a new product line. Both facilities are projected to create 20 direct new jobs in addition to the company retaining the 181 jobs present at its current locations. Additionally, the Louisiana Economic Development estimates that the expansion project will create 79 indirect jobs, resulting in a total of nearly 100 new jobs for the citizens of Acadia Parish.
Supreme Rice CEO Bobby Hanks commented on the imminent project by saying, “our new parboil facility in Mermentau will allow us to market this product line to customers. The new parboil rice products will create another value-added milled rice offering that further supports the stability of Louisiana-grown rice.”
In order to properly secure the project in Acadia Parish, Supreme Rice was awarded a competitive incentive package of $750,000 from the state’s Economic Development Award Program. The incentive package was awarded by the state of Louisiana, and Supreme Rice is also expected to utilize both the state’s Enterprise Zone and Quality Jobs programs throughout the project’s completion.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards spoke of the $16.2 million project by saying, “as a processor of one of Louisiana’s key crops, Supreme Rice is both a cultural ambassador and an agribusiness leader for our state. This expansion and the new jobs it will generate in Acadiana will help to sustain the growing momentum of our rural revitalization efforts.”
Also commenting on their appreciation of Supreme Rice’s expansion into their towns was Crowley Mayor Tim Monceaux who said, “Supreme Rice Mill is a very important economic engine for Crowley, Acadia Parish, and the State of Louisiana. We are pleased and excited to have this expansion realized and look forward to the continued success and growth of this business. Under Bobby Hanks’ leadership, the rice mill has grown substantially, and we wish him the very best in his endeavors.” Similarly, Mermentau Mayor Darla Istre was also appreciative in speaking of her anticipation of the project’s completion and the economic boost that will accompany it.
Previously, in a 2019 statement, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Supreme Rice President and CEO Bobby Hanksannounced the $20 million expansion of 25,000 square feet that was added to the Crowley facility. Ideally, it was a no-brainer for Supreme Rice to adapt the manufacturing space for these new parboil operations. Governor Edwardsspoke in that 2019 announcement with words that are still resonant today, given the news of Supreme Rice’s new project; he said, “Louisiana’s natural resources and geographic position have blessed us with an agricultural bounty that is the envy of the world.” The Governor proceeded to thank the “landmark Crowley company” which was celebrating 85 years in business at the time. In conclusion, he said, “I congratulate the Supreme Rice team on this expansion and on the securing of great jobs in Acadiana,” and as stated above, Governor Edwards’ statement and sentiment still ring true as Supreme Rice continues to invest in Louisiana, its citizens, and its resources.
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