Walking through AGCO’s campus in Jackson, Minn., almost feels like walking through a small city. There are large buildings, busy people heading in different directions, vehicles humming up and down roads and the constant buzz of activity and production.
If AGCO was its own city, it’d be growing.
Officials from USDA Rural Development and Federated Rural Electric Cooperative recently visited AGCO to highlight how a Rural Economic Development Loan is partially financing an expansion project that will increase production and create about 200 jobs.
The no-interest, 10-year loan is going toward a new 75,000 square-foot addition that will add a state-of-the-art visitor’s center and additional production space. The expansion is helping AGCO roll out production of the Massey Ferguson 8600 series and the Challenger MT600 series of high horsepower wheeled tractors.
“We’re a part of the community here in Jackson and we’re proud to be expanding and adding more jobs in the region,” said Eric Fisher, AGCO’s Director of Operations.
AGCO’s workforce is expected to grow from 850 to almost 1,100. The company is currently producing about 50 tractors per month of the new series. Combined with current tractor production volumes the company will product over 2,500 tractors in Jackson this year.
USDA Rural Development makes loans to local utility cooperatives which are passed through and re-loaned to area businesses for expansion and job creation projects. Federated Rural Electric and Rural Development have a strong partnership and have teamed to assist several local businesses in the region.
Federated made the first Rural Economic Development loan in the nation in 1990 and has made $3.6 million in loans since.
“Public-private partnerships play a key role in helping Minnesota’s rural communities win the future,” said Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development State Director. “Federated and the USDA have partnered on several projects in the region that have resulted in job creation and other economic development opportunities.”
The first Massey Ferguson tractor came off the assembly line on Jan. 4 and was on display while Landkamer, Fisher and Federated General Manager Richard Burud spoke during an event to highlight the expansion project.
“We have always worked to make our communities a great place to live and work,” Burud said. “AGCO is a great employer and we are glad to be a part of their growth in our area.”
This is National Small Business Week. Read President Obama’s proclamation here.