Local company announces expansion, involving 100 new jobs

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A local company will add 100 new jobs over the next three years, as part of a $60 million expansion.

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann joined officials from Beck’s Hybrids on Wednesday to announce the new investment, which comes with new tax incentives from the state’s economic development corporation.

“It’s very exciting for our team,” said company president Sonny Beck. “They’re excited about the announcement and the expansion.”

At Beck’s facility in rural Hamilton County, life on the farm is a lot more high-tech then it was in the past. Over the years, they’ve grown to be the 6th largest seed company in America. And in the next few years, they’ll be adding new research areas and two new 4,000 square-foot greenhouses.

“We’re choosing to make this mega center here instead of dividing it up into a couple other states,” said Beck. “This is such a good place to do business, we’re just going to do a huge place here.”

It’s a huge investment in a pretty small town. Soon the company will have 500 employees, while the entire population of nearby Atlanta, Indiana is just over 700.

So it goes without saying, growth like this means an awful lot to the community.

“I’ve been teasing him that he needs to compete with that other Atlanta out east because with the growth here, there’s no reason we can’t get there,” joked Ellspermann. “It’s so important to rural Indiana, but agriculture’s a big business- it’s a half million jobs across the state and many of those are in rural areas.”

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” said county council president Rick McKinney, who said he would be voting on additional tax incentives from the county during a meeting Wednesday night. “We’re very, very excited.”