Companies Announce Whitley County Expansions

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Companies in northeast Indiana are planning to pump a combined $3.3 million into separate expansions that could create two dozen jobs. Ag Plus LP, a cooperative in Whitley County and Minnesota-based CHS Inc. (Nasdaq: CHSCP) are building a liquid fertilizer facility. Also, ChromaSource Inc., based in Columbia City, wants to increase capacity with its investment. January 6, 2015

News Release

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. - Locally based Ag Plus LP and ChromaSource, Inc. today announced plans to expand their respective local operations, which will involve the companies investing a combined $3.327 million and creation of up to 23 new jobs in 2015.

Ag Plus, a farmer-owned cooperative based in South Whitley, is establishing a joint venture with St. Paul, MN based CHS (NASDAQ: CHSCP, CHSCO, SHSCN) to build and operate a liquid fertilizer facility near Columbia City.

"We are pleased to partner with the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative to establish Briggs Crop Nutrients in Whitley County," said Ag Plus CEO Jeff Mize, "Our new, larger, and more efficient facility will give area growers better overall fertilizer service and options."

Based near Columbia City, ChromaSource is a nationally recognized manufacturer of color systems and color cards. The company is adding nearly $1 million in equipment to expand its production capacity.

"We continue to see significant opportunities to grow our company," said ChromaSource CEO Jason Brooks, "We've expanded our company's capabilities since our equipment investment in 2013, and with this opportunity we can continue advancing those capabilities to meet the increased demands of our customers worldwide."

Both companies were recognized by the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), as Whitley County Architects in 2013 for their substantial contributions to the community’s economic growth.

"We are focused on supporting growth oriented companies like Ag Plus and ChromaSource," said EDC president Alan Tio, "This means finding the right tools in the EDC Toolbox for client companies at every stage of business."

Since 2000, Ag Plus LP has invested nearly $15 million in upgrades to facilities in Churubusco, Peabody, Raber, and South Whitley. In 2009, the company partnered with North Central Co-op to establish Synergy Feeds LLC, investing $2.7 million to construct a state-of-the-art feed mill at the company's South Whitley location. In 2010, the company invested $1.7 million to upgrade the Raber Ag Center, expanding grain storage capacity, improving agronomy capabilities, and constructing a new office facility.

Founded in 1996 as a color card company, ChromaSource develops sampling products in a wide variety of formats ranging from color cards, color strips, painting contractor fan decks, and major color system libraries available in every retain paint location in the United States. In 2013, the company invested more than $1 million in new equipment to expand the company's capabilities.

The Whitley County Council today approved property tax abatement in support of both company expansions at the request of the Whitley County EDC.

"On behalf of Whitley County, I am excited to see companies like Ag Plus and ChromaSource continue to expand in our community," said Whitley County Commissioner Don Amber, "We have supported both companies as they have grown their local operations and look forward to seeing them succeed in the years ahead."

About Whitley County EDC

The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead economic development agency in Whitley County, Indiana. The EDC works closely with local, regional, and state partners to support our industry clients' growth and success. Our mission is to lead a comprehensive economic development program that retains and expands employment opportunities for local residents and attracts business investment to Whitley County. The Whitley County EDC was established in 1992 and represents Whitley County, Columbia City, and the Towns of Churubusco, Larwill, and South Whitley. For more information about the EDC, visit: www.whitleyedc.com.

Source: The Whitley County Economic Development Corp.