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Riceland Foods to add 80 new jobs with $13.2 million expansion

Riceland's facility in Stuttgart, where Arkansas' first rice mill was built in 1907.
Claudia Shannon
Riceland's facility in Stuttgart, where Arkansas' first rice mill was built in 1907.

Riceland Foods announced Wednesday it will add 80 new jobs and expand its operations in Stuttgart and Jonesboro with a $13.2 million investment.

The majority of the expansion will be at the Stuttgart location, including two new packaging lines. The two new packaging lines will enhance the cooperative’s ability to meet the demands of the ever-changing consumer. The expansion will also support additional renovation of existing facilities and updates to existing production lines.

“Riceland has been a key employer in eastern Arkansas for years,” said Interim President and CEO Andrew Dallas. “We’re excited about the opportunity to grow this segment of our business.”

Riceland currently employs 1,500 people companywide.

“I want to congratulate Riceland on its centennial anniversary,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “It is always great to see our homegrown businesses thrive and expand. For 100 years, Riceland has fed millions of people around the world and has grown to become a leader in the rice industry. The 80 new jobs being created by the company, along with the $13.2 million expansion, will significantly affect these new employees and their families in Stuttgart and Jonesboro and help Riceland continue on its path of success.”

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ben Noble said the business strategy has focused on the expansion of value-added packaged business for some time.

“We appreciate the Governor’s assistance in helping us take advantage of the increased demand in the marketplace,” said Noble. “The majority of these jobs will be in Stuttgart and Jonesboro, Arkansas and will provide a much-needed boost to the local economies in those areas of the state. Ultimately, the true beneficiary will be our farmers due to the increased margins we are able to secure.”

Riceland Foods is celebrating its 100th year anniversary in 2021.

Roby Brock is the Editor-in-Chief and Host of Talk Business & Politics.