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Ag Tech Scientific breaking ground on new facility to develop, manufacture heap products in Paris

AgTech Scientific will break ground today on a new facility to develop and manufacture hemp-based products in Paris. The facility is part of AgTech’s plan to work with Kentucky farmers to grow hemp and to partner with the University of Kentucky on research.

The ceremony will take place in Paris, where AgTech is building a 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art structure on a 10-acre site in the Bourbon County Business Park, 333 Cleveland Drive at 12:30 p.m.

The company has an option to purchase an additional 10 acres there. AgTech’s initial $5 million investment is expected to grow substantially. AgTech will start with around 50 employees, projected to grow to 271 within three years. 

“The Ag Tech team is excited to announce that our first beta test planting season has been a success. We initially planned on 2,000 plants,” said Ag Tech CSO Dr. Brian King. “However, as word and interest in our project spread in the farming community, we ended up planting 200,000 plants in 2018. We are planning to plant over 4,000,000 plants next season.

“Our new state of the art 50,000 square foot facility in Bourbon County will allow us to scale operations and ensure top quality throughout the supply chain.  We deeply thank everyone in the community who has made this possible. Some of the biggest help came from the Governor, Ag Commissioner Quarles, Congressman Andy Barr, Matt Koch, Bourbon County Executive and all the great farmers of Kentucky.”

More than 3,200 acres of hemp were planted in Kentucky in 2017 under the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, placing the commonwealth behind only Colorado among all states. Approved Kentucky growers have skyrocketed from 20 at the program’s outset in 2014 to 210 in July 2018.

AgTech holds a conditionally approved 2018 grower license from the Kentucky research program and intends to partner with Kentucky farmers for large-scale hemp production. The company would then extract cannabidiol (CBD) from the locally grown hemp. CBD differs from THC, the intoxicant in marijuana. Initially, the facility would produce an energy drink incorporating CBD and would later expand its product lineup.

In partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, AgTech is researching potential health benefits of hemp-based additives for animal food. AgTech plans to eventually begin manufacturing pet and equine foods, among other products, contingent on changes to regulations.

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in January preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2.4 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. 

In addition, AgTech can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.

From AgTech Scientific

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