NAPI PARTNERSHIP WITH FLOUR MILL COMPANY TO BRING 20 JOBS TO THE AREA
FARMINGTON, NM – Navajo Agricultural Products Industry has formed a joint venture with a newly formed flour mill company that will net an estimated $7.5 million over the next 10 years. NAPI will provide the wheat for the venture for its use in creating flour-based products.
“The venture is the result of months of planning and negotiations to ensure that all issues were addressed and resolved,” said NAPI Chief Executive Officer Wilton Charley. “We are estimating about $1 million a year in wages to run and operate the mill. It will bring 20 new jobs to the area. The joint venture will return an investment of 104% to NAPI Four Mill, LLC, a wholly owned company of NAPI.”
The NAPI Board of Directors approved the agreement on June 22, 2016. “The venture will rely on the Navajo workforce for staffing and the milling will be conducted at the NAPI flour mill facility started in 2012,” said NAPI Board Chairman Lawrence Platero. “We are thrilled about rolling out this new venture. The facility has been inspected, evaluated, and is ready for operation.”
“This is an example of being innovative and using available resources to create employment and spur economic development,” said Navajo President Russell Begaye.
Bryan Ledgerwood, who has over 20 years experience in the milling industry and has been directly responsible for multiple flour and oat processing facilities located across the United States and Canada that achieved exceptional growth, has been named the president and CEO of New Mexico Milling.
“The mill is uniquely positioned to serve the Southwest markets, Four Corners region,” Ledgerwood said about the NAPI facility. The plant has been equipped with state of the art packaging equipment with capacities of producing 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 lbs. packaged products along with bulk vessels, said Ledgerwood.
The new venture will offer specialized blending capabilities to produce custom blends such as various bread, pancake and tortilla mixes. “This is a rare opportunity to operate an independent mill, during a time when the industry has seen continued consolidation into a select few large corporate millers,” said Ledgerwood. The venture is planning a job fair on July 28, 2016 at the San Juan College—Quality Center for Business to begin hiring and staffing full time personnel. More information and instructions on registering for this event are available at NMMilling.com.
NAPI was developed by the Navajo Tribal Council in April 1970 as a Navajo-Owned Enterprise to create employment and operate a profitable Agri-business. Today, it is one of 13 tribal business enterprises and is one of the largest contiguous farmlands in the Nation and provides Navajo Pride products on a global scale. NAPI’s employment varies between 200-500 people of which 95% are Navajo. The NAPI farm has an estimated 72,000 acres developed with major crops, such as alfalfa, Number two corn, small grains, potatoes and beans.
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