Minnesota-based Bushel Boy Farms is expanding its fresh produce business to Mason City. North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation president Chad Schreck said the $35 million investment involves a 50-acre facility to grow and package tomatoes. He said the project will be built in three phases.
"This first phase is actually 16 and a half acres and there’ll be two phases to follow, to get them all the way of to 50 acres," he explained. “So we needed a sizeable site to fit that development. We found one that was perfect for their needs down the southwest industrial area of Mason City along the Avenue of the Saints."
Schreck said the greenhouse will initially employ 50 people. The project is expected to be completed in October of next year with the first harvest in December. A groundbreaking ceremony was scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday. Schreck said the Bushel Boy project is one of 20 new developments in Cerro Gordo County totaling more than $240 million.
The state transportation commission recently approved a Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy grant of up to $555,000 to assist in the expansion of frontage road access to not only the Bushel Boy facility — but also for potential other developments.