Archive for October, 2016

10/21/2016 – Sattler Corp finalizes land purchase in Hudson

Posted on: October 24th, 2016 by admin


October 21, 2016


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Sattler Corp officials traveled from Austria to finalize the company’s purchase of more than 2 acres of property from the Town of Hudson during a ceremony Thursday at the McCreary Family Fitness Center.


The agreement will allow for the continued preservation of the historic manufacturing site, which dates back to 1904, and provide the potential for company expansion in the future.


Representatives from the Town of Hudson – along with county, state, and business officials –gathered for a luncheon to mark the occasion and witness the formal signing of the documents to transfer 2.36 acres of Redwood Park to Sattler Corp.


Located at the corner of Main Street and Mount Herman Road in Hudson, the Sattler manufacturing facility serves as the North American headquarters for the Gössendorf, Austria-based company.


Because grant money had been used in the development of Redwood Park, state and federal permission was required in order for the transaction to proceed. To offset the purchased land, the Hudson Optimist Club donated an 8-acre parcel to the town.


Hudson Mayor Janet Winkler thanked officials for coming together to make the land sale possible. She noted the historic nature of the textile manufacturing site that began operation before Hudson was incorporated.


Sattler Chairman of the Supervisory Board Alexander Tessmar-Pfohl and Chief Operating Officer Andreas Freiler participated in the ceremony. Freiler said the land will permit the maker of outdoor fabrics to pursue its future expansion plans.


In 2011, Sattler purchased the former Shuford Mills facility and the business currently employs approximately 85 people. Company officials have previously indicated that employment could grow by 30 percent over the next three to five years, depending on the type of equipment purchased and growth in market segments.

10/18/2016 – Associated Hardwoods receives manufacturing honor

Posted on: October 21st, 2016 by admin


October 18, 2016


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Granite Falls-based wood products manufacturer Associated Hardwoods has been awarded a 2016 Manufacturing Leadership Award from the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership.


Associated Hardwoods President Rick Jordan accepted the honor in the category of Developing Markets during the mfgCon conference in Greensboro. The program is administered through N.C. State University.


According to Phil Mintz, the partnership’s director and the interim director of N.C. State’s Industry Expansion Solutions, the group’s annual awards recognize “deployed solutions that solve unique business problems through effective expansion programs or initiatives.”


Associated Hardwoods was recognized for making it through the Great Recession by the reinvention of products and the adoption of new technologies that have lead to dramatically increased yields and subsequent expansions. In the past two years, Associated Hardwoods purchased and renovated the former Newton Transportation site in Hudson and is currently in the process of expanding its Jordan-Holman Lumber operation in Granite Falls.


The company plans to create up to 50 new jobs with the Jordan-Holman expansion during the next two years, based on the company’s ability to double production through technology advancements.


This past February, Associated Hardwoods was recognized by the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission with its Industry of the Year Award. The Caldwell County EDC has assisted Associated Hardwoods in obtaining a pair of grants from the North Carolina Department of Commerce for the company’s renovation and expansion plans.


Associated Hardwoods was one of five companies recognized at the awards ceremony. Other award winners were Sierra Nevada in Mills River, Flex in Mooresville, Service Thread in Laurinburg, and The Bark House at Highland Craftsmen Inc. in Spruce Pine.






10/13/2016 – 80 Acres building ‘the future of farming’

Posted on: October 13th, 2016 by admin


October 13, 2016


One of the most modern things going on in Granite Falls today is a new approach to on of the oldest human activities – farming.


When local officials announced in April that an Ohio-based company named 80 Acres Urban Agriculture LLC was going to buy the former Hollin Gate building on York View Court and manufacture “chassis” for “vertical farming equipment,” it sounded pretty technical.


But Celeste Brantolino, the company’s vice president of human resources and a self-described “fifth-generation farm girl,” can break it down in simpler terms. Brantolino gave a presentation to the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Board of Directors and outlined the company’s operations. The Caldwell County EDC recently assisted 80 Acres in obtaining a $125,000 North Carolina Department of Commerce Building Reuse grant for renovations to the York View Court site.


What the company plans to do in Granite Falls is make all of the equipment needed to achieve an ambitious dream of creating a national network of small, hydroponic farming operations, most of them based in converted, 40-foot shipping containers. The goal is to allow consumers everywhere, particularly in urban areas, to have access to fresh, locally-grown produce year-round.


“When we get up to market, you will taste a strawberry in December that tastes just like it comes out of your June garden,” Brantolino said.


Hydroponic farming is growing plants without soil, and it has been done in certain forms for thousands of years, Brantolino said. But it is only in the past few years that advances in technology have dropped the price of LED lighting – needed to provide plants with an equivalent of sunlight – to the point that hydroponic farming has become commercially viable.


The shipping containers that 80 Acres uses are heavily insulated and were originally used in international and national shipping of produce from far-flung markets, she said. When the shipping companies finish with them, they remove the refrigeration units and sell the containers.


80 Acres builds in the hydroponic equipment to grow leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, strawberries or vine crops such as grapes, and the company is trying hops, Brantolino said. Each container can have as much agricultural yield as 80 acres of land – hence the company’s name.


But unlike traditional farms, the contained hydroponic farms, or “grow zones,” are immune to extremes of weather. There is no winter dormancy or withering summer heat, and no drought or deluge.


The company, which began one year ago this week, currently has contracts to supply produce under the name 80 Acres Farms to some Whole Foods stores in Alabama, one of the two states where 80 Acres currently has growers – the other is Arkansas.


“Whole Foods has placed orders with us to the point we are just scrambling to keep up,” Brantolino said.


A warehouse-sized hydroponic farm is planned in Ohio, and within five years the company wants to be growing produce in North Carolina. The ultimate plan is to be growing in every state, Brantolino said.


Hydroponic farming has an additional advantage: Water use is so controlled that hydroponic farms require 90 percent less water but achieve 40 percent higher yields, Brantolino said. Because population growth places more demands on natural resources, Brantolino said “water is the new oil when it comes to natural resources.”


She added, “We believe we are the future of farming.”


By Guy Lucas, (Lenoir) News-Topic


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