LOVINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – A Lovington cheese plant that has been closed for 13 years is getting a new life and new jobs, thanks to one of the state’s new industries. The hemp manufacturer is starting production in the heart of oil country.
“It’s about time, we need the economy, we desperately need it,” said Vestal Lair.
Lair is expressing the feelings of Lovington residents when she heard the news that the Lovington Cheese Plant is going to re-open as a hemp processing plant. For an area reliant on oil jobs this is a breath of fresh air to the local economy.
“They’re going to bring in 125 jobs into our city, and another 124 indirect jobs,” said Leslie Boldt Director of the Lovington Chamber of Commerce.
The company Big Dog Industries will be putting $85,000 of improvements to get the plant up and running. The company is getting $250,000 from the City of Lovington for bringing here. If they hire 125 people within five years the state will give $750,000.
Lovington’s Economic Development Department says they have seen the boom and bust happen in Lovington over the years from the oilfield. They look at this opportunity as a huge step in their city, relying on something other than oil.
“This will not only help new businesses come in, it’s going to help our infrastructure, it’s going to help our schools, our property. It’s going to help our hospital, it’s going to help everyone in general,” said Evalin Jolguin Director of Lovington Economic Development.
Lovington has been looking for a business to fill the 90,000 square foot building since 2007. “Anytime we can fill plants, businesses and vacant buildings in Lovington, it’s a win-win,” said Boldt.
Big Dog Industries says the project is expected to generate $423 million statewide over the next ten years.