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Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks at Montague Farms in Windsor on Monday to announce an Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development grant awarded to the business to expand its overseas markets. McAuliffe said he hopes the investment will help the state increase its fast-growing exports even more quickly. (Cain Madden/The Tidewater News)
Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks at Montague Farms in Windsor on Monday to announce an Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development grant awarded to the business to expand its overseas markets. McAuliffe said he hopes the investment will help the state increase its fast-growing exports even more quickly. (Cain Madden/The Tidewater News)

Governor announces grant for Windsor farm

Published 9:59pm Monday, March 10, 2014

By Stephen H. Cowles

Special to the News-Herald

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that Montague Farms Inc. in Windsor has received an Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development grant of $14,100 — which was matched by Isle of Wight County — to expand its overseas business.

The family owned company, which is based in Center Cross, produces and exports specialty soybeans for markets in Japan and now to South Korea.

Before the public gathering, McAuliffe said he wants to grow and diversify the Virginia economy in a bipartisan way.

“Virginia is the nation’s best place to do business in 2013, with $2.85 billion in exports, an 8-percent increase from 2012. This year we’re going to go to $3 billion.

“This is the first agriculture grant of my administration,” he said. The company has invested more than $600,000 for a high-tech packaging system, a testing laboratory and warehouse.

In addition to creating three more jobs, Montague Farms will buy more than 4,000 metric tons of natto beans from Virginia soybean producers during the next few years.

“We in Richmond are your partners,” the governor said. “Virginia is the 14th-largest exporter in the United States, and fourth on the East Coast. In four years, I want us to go from fourth to first place. That’s my commitment.”

Present for the ceremony were William “Bill” Taliaferro, president of Montague Farms, and his son, Tom, operations manager, along with Todd Haymore, Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry.

Tom Taliaferro said the expansion is “a significant capital investment,” and mentioned the robot that does the seven paper bags per minute packaging even has a name, “Bob,” which his daughters chose.

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