SARANAC — Ionia County egg producer Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch secured a $500,000 performance-based Michigan Business Development Program grant to help with the company’s $17.5 million expansion project.
In addition to investing in three facilities, two in Saranac and one in Ionia County, Herbruck is investing $2 million into an additional forced main sewer line that will directly connect to the Lakewood Wastewater Authority system.
The authority waived the sanitary sewer connection fee of $405,000.
The expansion at Herbruck’s is expected to create 50 new jobs over the next three years.
The new line will be publicly owned and have capacity to take on additional connections from other area agriculture-based operators, said Jennifer Wangler, business development specialist for The Right Place Inc. who covers Ionia County.
“The investment that Herbruck is making is economically and environmentally beneficial,” Wangler said. “The company is supporting a publicly owned piece of infrastructure with their investment dollars.”
Herbruck cited increased demand for egg production as the company’s primary reason for the expansion of its liquid waste capabilities.
“Since 2003, the food processing industry (in West Michigan) has grown 18 percent, which is pretty significant,” said Tim Mroz, vice president of marketing and communications for The Right Place Inc. “Even taking into account the recession, it just kept building.”