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NC Port Investment Leads to Local Jobs

USA InvestCo plans to create 100 jobs and invest more than $15 million in a new cold storage facility at the Port of Wilmington according to Governor McCrory’s office.

The company is developing the Port of Wilmington Cold Storage facility (PWCS), a 75,000-square-foot cold storage facility that will store locally produced pork, poultry, fruits and vegetables. PWCS could eventually be expanded to 300,000 square feet depending on demand.

USA InvestCo is made up of a group of experienced real estate developers with more than 80 years of combined expertise in both real estate development and management. Its track record includes acquisition, entitlement, development, management and sales. USA InvestCo’s general partners have raised over $100 million for various projects throughout the U.S. including Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, California and Texas.

USA InvestCo received assistance through a grant provided by the Golden LEAF Foundation to the N.C. Southeast Regional Economic Development Partnership to fund equipment needed for the proposed cold storage facility at the Port of Wilmington.

Richland County Farmer Appointed to Commission

It was announced this week that Jason “Thomas” Lanham is the newest appointee to the Agriculture Commission of South Carolina. The Richland County Legislative Delegation appointed the 4th generation farmer to serve as the Richland County Representative for the 5th Judicial Circuit.

Lanham has been involved with agriculture for 30 years. He and his brother, Chris, own 900 acres in Richland County and 1400 acres in Kershaw County. Both farms produce corn, wheat and soybeans.

Lanham is one of 17 Commission members and will serve a four year term. The Agriculture Commission of South Carolina was created in 1978 primarily to oversee the administration of the South Carolina Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act. The Agriculture Commission is responsible for issuance, amendment, or termination of marketing agreements or orders to produce the intended effects of the Act. The Agriculture Commission maintains the required records, issues notices, conducts hearings, and ensures that all growers have the opportunity to participate in referendums.

Research Continues on the PRRS Virus

Each year – Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome costs the U.S. swine industry 664-million dollars. That’s the equivalent of 115-dollars per sow. The Pork Checkoff recently co-sponsored the 2013 North American PRRS Symposium in Chicago. Pork Checkoff Director of Swine Health and Information Dr. Lisa Becton says progress is being made:

“We have learned a lot about the function and pathology of the virus. We have built a very good community of researchers both from a practical level and a basic science level. People are putting a lot of science into use especially in the area elimination efforts. PRRS is not an easy virus to deal with, its very complex. I don’t think we have the silver bullet, but we are learning more about the virus and how to potentially get rid of it. But it requires a lot of focus and communication.”'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.