ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — A new peanut shelling facility is in the works in Orangeburg County. The $64.3 million investment is expected to create 130 new jobs.
The facility is being established by Georgia-based company Premium Peanut. The company has a plant capacity of 300,000 tons and is working to expand even more.
"Giving people at home jobs to sell peanuts, that's just a great win," said Bowman farmer Landrum Weathers. "The more options we have, the better off we're all gonna be in our industry."
Weathers says having a shelling plant close to home can help local farmers keep more money in their pocket.
"If a farmer were growing peanuts and had some guys working for him, you know, this may kind of solidify that, secure those jobs for his foreseeable future if peanuts continue to be a viable crop and grow," Weathers said. "A peanut buyer is not having to haul those peanuts to say you know North Carolina or southern Georgia which is quite a ways."
The Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce says this facility will be a great investment into local agriculture, a major cash crop in the county.
"It's also an opportunity to invest in this community, in Orangeburg, in Elloree," said chamber president James McQuilla. "It shows other peanut farmers throughout the state that we have something here that they, too, can utilize."
Portions of the new facility are expected to be operational by the spring.