Bushel Boy Farms, a vegetable farm business based in Owatonna, is investing $35 million into a new facility in Mason City, Iowa. The 50-acre facility is expected to increase current production by 50 percent and generate 50 full time jobs for the area.
The three-phase Mason City project will begin with a groundbreaking on Wednesday. Work is expected to be completed by October 2020, with the first harvest slated for December of the same year.
The project includes a 16.5-acre high-tech greenhouse. That will complement a 4.5-acre research and development greenhouse already under construction at Bushel Boy’s Owatonna farm. The Minnesota greenhouse is expected to be completed in December 2019, with production starting in early 2020.
Bushel Boy’s expansion comes less than a year after it was purchased by Shakopee-based manufacturing company Rahr Corp.
The expansion projects in Iowa and Minnesota are expected to increase production of tomatoes, Bushel Boy’s specialty. In the future, the company aims to offer “a variety of locally grown, premium, fresh produce” at the Mason City plant.
Once the two projects are complete, Bushel Boy will have 48 total acres of greenhouse space, with infrastructure available for 33 more acres.
“These expansions will not only allow us to serve our existing customer base, but will provide us the opportunity to seek new business relationships and expand existing partnerships with retailers, wholesalers and food service distributors,” said Steve Irland, President of Bushel Boy Farms, in the company release.