January 20, 2006

Kevin Hall
(804) 225-4260

Donald L. Mennel
Mennel Milling
(419) 435-8151 ext. 233
Christie Collins
(804) 545-5805
-Announcement saves 33 jobs for region-

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that The Mennel Milling Company, a milling operation in the Roanoke area for 32 years, will invest $30.8 million to move the company’s facility to Roanoke County from the City of Roanoke. The company is moving because its current location is where the biomedical park is planned for downtown. The decision to remain in Virginia results in 33 jobs saved for the Roanoke region. Virginia successfully competed against Ohio and Tennessee for the project.

“Mennel Milling is an important contributor toward the Roanoke regional economy,” said Governor Kaine. “This company mills specialty flours for Maple Leaf Foods, Nestlé, Hershey and Interbake Foods, just to name a few. The new mill will double the capacity of the current mill, and I thank Mennel Milling for choosing to remain in the Commonwealth.”

The Mennel Milling Company, based in Fostoria, Ohio, has milled wheat into specialty flours for more than 120 years. The flours are used by nationally known companies and independent bakers, and can be found in a majority of the cake mixes, cookies, snack crackers, breadings, batters, gravies, soups, ice cream cones, pretzels, oriental noodles, and regional branded breads. Mennel Milling Company also provides flour to major mix manufacturers and bakeries that cater to the fast food and restaurant trade. The company was originally founded in 1886 as Harter Milling Company. Mennel, which mills one-third of a variety of soft red winter wheat produced by Virginia’s wheat farmers, is a key contributor to Virginia’s agricultural success.

“Mennel Milling plays a critical role in Virginia agribusiness, having worked successfully with Virginia wheat farmers, farm organizations and Virginia Tech small grain specialists in the development of innovative, specialty value-added wheat varieties and production systems. We view this new mill as a major investment for Virginia agriculture and look forward to the great opportunity it presents for our future,” said Robert S. Bloxom, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to stay in Virginia and in the Roanoke Valley so that we can retain our local workforce and continue to grow with our current customers,” said Don Mennel, President, The Mennel Milling Company. “Virginia's pro-business climate and transportation infrastructure are major contributors to our decision to stay.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Roanoke County, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved a $250,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies. The company also is eligible to receive rail access funding through the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

"We are pleased to partner with Mennel Milling as they expand their operations in Roanoke County,” said Elmer Hodge, Roanoke County Administrator. “The company has been a quality employer in the Roanoke Valley for decades, and this new investment will assist with retaining jobs for the region and Virginia."


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