Wayne County’s Coker Feed Mill, Inc. Receives Funds From North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority

Wayne County’s Coker Feed Mill, Inc. will receive a grant for $75,000 from the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority to expand its third-generation business. Statewide, $2 million in funding was announced by Governor Cooper and is a part of 10 grants to rural communities to attract 295 new jobs and over $83 million in private investment in N.C.

“These grants both rejuvenate and strengthen rural North Carolina,” Governor Cooper said. “When we support local businesses and expand rural infrastructure, we boost the local, regional, and state economies and help increase our economic competitiveness from the mountains to the sea.”

“I have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from Wayne County and the State of North Carolina toward the growth efforts of our third-generation feed mill. It is truly inspiring to know that our State and County believe in the power of small agricultural businesses like ours to create jobs, add value to our community, and bolster our economy. I am tremendously grateful to Governor Roy Cooper for the Building Reuse Grant to help us take Coker Feed Mill to the next level here in my home county,” stated Amber Coker Butler, CEO of Coker Feed Mill, Inc.

Under the Existing Business Building Category, Wayne County received a $75,000 grant that will support the 15,000-square-foot expansion of a building occupied by Coker Feed Mill Inc. in Goldsboro, NC, which serves small to mid-sized family farms and stables by procuring North Carolina-grown ingredients, creating valuable products, and distributing them throughout Eastern and Central North Carolina. The project is expected to create nine jobs and bring in a private investment of $614,300 for the expansion.

Chip Crumpler, Wayne County Manager, said, “This investment is not only a milestone for Coker Feed Mill but also underscores agriculture’s pivotal role in our community. This is another exciting announcement for Wayne County, and we look forward to more economic development announcements soon.”

Wayne County Board of Commissioners Chairman Chris Gurley said, “These announcements are usually for “new” businesses coming to our county. It’s great to hear when businesses that have been the pillar of our community for so many years keep growing for the next generation to take the business to the next level”. That shows we have proven leaders that will take the lead one day.

“We are thrilled to announce the expansion of Coker’s Feed Mill operations, a third-generation company in Wayne County. This expansion will allow them to continue to meet the growing demand for high-quality animal nutrition. This expansion represents their commitment to providing farmers and livestock producers with innovative, sustainable feed options that enhance animal health and performance. With this expansion, they will be able to advance production techniques and deliver superior feed products that contribute to the success of their customers. This expansion is a testament to their dedication to the agricultural industry,” said Julie Graham, Wayne County Existing Industry Director

“We greatly appreciate the announcement of the expansion of Coker’s Feed Mill, a family-owned business. This development is extremely valuable to our value-added agriculture business, allowing us to stay up-to-date with technology and innovation. By doing so, we can continue supporting our Agriculture/Farms. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Coker’s team for their support to the State and eastern North Carolina,” said Mark Pope, North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development Region

The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand, or construct healthcare facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties, as well as rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties.

In addition to reviewing and approving funding requests, the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority formulates policies and priorities for grant and loan programs administered by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team. Its 17 voting members are appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate President Pro Term. The North Carolina Secretary of Commerce serves as a member of the authority, ex officio.

NC Department of Commerce: https://www.commerce.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2023/12/07/governor-cooper-announces-10-grants-rural-communities-attract-295-new-jobs-and-over-83-million

Building Reuse: https://www.commerce.nc.gov/grants-incentives/building-or-site-funds/building-reuse

Rural Economic Development Division: https://www.commerce.nc.gov/about-us/divisions-programs/rural-economic-development-division