Gerber & Sons, Inc., in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), and the Holmes County Economic Development Council, today announced it has committed to investing $26.3 million to redevelop an unused industrial property in the Holmes County section of Baltic.
Established in 1905 and now with the fifth generation of family leadership, Gerber & Sons produces grain feeds for livestock and supports the agricultural industry in Ohio and surrounding states. The company sells directly to farm operations and also through regional farm supply locations in multiple states. Its current mill in Baltic was constructed in the 1970s after a fire destroyed a large portion of the facility.
Gerber & Sons will be redeveloping a 60-acre parcel in Baltic that had most recently been used as a storage location for a trucking operation. The property’s last meaningful use was as a brick manufacturing plant. Gerber will renovate a 25,000-square-foot warehouse on the property and expand it to 48,000 square feet
“We are excited as we embark on this project. We couldn’t do it without the ongoing support of our dedicated employees, customers, community, and agricultural community,” said Seth Gerber, Gerber & Sons, Inc. General Manager. “Gerber & Sons, Inc. have always taken the approach that quality and service are two keys to a successful business relationship. With the addition of our new facility, we will be better able to provide just that. We would also like to thank JobsOhio for their support and enthusiasm to be part of our expansion.”
Additionally, the company will construct a state-of-the-art, highly automated feed mill that will allow it to increase its bulk feed capacity by 25 percent and its bagged feed capacity by 20 percent. The expanded capacity will allow Gerber to grow its out-of-state business.
The $26.3 million investment is seen as a key to the company’s long-term viability. The investment will lead to the creation of nine new jobs over the course of three years in addition to redeveloping a brownfield property.
JobsOhio supported the project with a $100,000 JobsOhio Revitalization Grant and Ohio Southeast Economic Development assisted the company with the grant process. Holmes County offered an enterprise zone tax abatement with an estimated value of $650,000 over 10 years.
“The Holmes County Economic Development Council was pleased to learn of the company’s plans to construct a new mill facility. The new facility will significantly increase the company’s production capacity and will enable it to distribute its feed products to a much broader market,” said Mark Leininger, Executive Director of the Holmes County Economic Development Council. “We were pleased to partner with OhioSE to support this important project. The Gerber family has been operating the business in the Village of Baltic for 105 years and we wish them many more years of continued success.”
The JobsOhio Revitalization Program offers loans and grants to bridge the financial gap between the appealing cost of brownfield sites and the cost of site redevelopment. This program mitigates financial risk and accelerates projects, returning land and buildings to productive use more efficiently.
“Ohio Southeast Economic Development is pleased to have worked with JobsOhio to provide support for this major expansion of Gerber & Sons,” said OhioSE President Mike Jacoby. “Positive developments continue to happen in Holmes County and we are thrilled to have played a role in this expansion. With the JO assistance, Gerber will bring new life to an abandoned property and provide additional well-paid jobs. We applaud the company for making this substantial investment in our region.”
Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) is the JobsOhio Network Partner for southern, eastern, and southeastern Ohio, providing economic development work and resources in 25 rural counties; they are the newest and geographically the largest of the six regions across the state. OhioSE partners closely with regional development districts, local economic development offices, state agencies, and other entities to expand, retain, and attract businesses in the counties they serve.