Monday, March 02 2020
Big Dog Industries set to hire 125 over 5 years
Lovington, NM -- Big Dog Industries, a company that specializes in all areas of the hemp market, has purchased the former Lovington Cheese Plant. The company will be renovating the building that has been vacant for the past twelve years and begin operations within the next six months. Within the next five years, this company will directly employ 125 people at the Lovington facility.
Big Dog Industries and the Lovington Economic Development Corporation (EDC), who are the current owners of the property, have signed an agreement to transfer ownership of the 90,000 square foot building. To assist with the project, the New Mexico Economic Development Department has pledged a total of $750,000 from the State Economic Development Fund. In addition, the City of Lovington has pledged an additional $250,000 worth of incentives from the Local Economic Development Fund. All government funds will be paid on a reimbursement basis as the company meets the job creation and employment requirements it has agreed to.
The Lovington EDC became the owners of the facility in 2018 after a fire destroyed portions of the building. The EDC recognized that the facility would require substantial investment and has spent $85,000 on repairs in order to get it into a condition that was suitable and attracted the investment of Big Dog Industries. “This is a homerun for Lovington” said Evelyn Holguin, CEO/Executive Director of the Lovington Economic Development Corporation. “We are not only filling a vacant building but creating 125 new jobs at the facility and over 124 indirect jobs in our community. This new company will have a profound impact on our economy that is primarily dependent on the oil and gas industry. Over the next 10 years, the economic impact to Lovington and Lea County is an estimated $261 million dollars in revenues generated locally. The analysis conducted by the New Mexico Economic Development Department reports the gross receipts tax revenues paid to the City of Lovington is over $68 million whereas Lea County is projected to receive $7.6 million. In addition, it is estimated that the Lovington Municipal Schools and the Nor Lea Hospital District will receive almost $500,000 each.
Big Dog Industries CEO Brian Meyer is a fourth-generation Nebraska farmer who has extensive experience with hemp, corn, wheat, and soybean production. This company will invest over $15 million into the facility and seed-to-retail business over the next several years. Products that will be manufactured will include oils, lotions, edibles, clothing, chocolates, and bath products. The company has access to 5,000 acres of farmland in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado that will grow the hemp utilized in the manufacturing process in Lovington.
The Lovington Economic Development Corporation is committed to promoting the economic diversity and growth of Lovington by developing new businesses, retaining existing businesses, and improving the quality of life through community involvement.