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Nicholas Meat breaks ground on sustainable resource facility

PHOTO PROVIDED Pictured at the ground breaking are, from left, Mike Flanagan, Clinton County Economic Partnership President & CEO; Joe Reese, Milnes Engineering; Brian Miller, Director of Sustainability, Nicholas Meat, LLC; Kennedy Nicholas, daughter of Beth and Doug Nicholas; Doug Nicholas, VP & COO, Nicholas Meat, LLC; Dr. Tom Richard, Ph.D., Director of Pennsylvania State University Institutes for Energy and the Environment; John Painter II, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Board Member and beef and dairy farmer; Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding; Jeff Snyder, Clinton County Commissioner; U.S. Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12); and Miles Kessinger, Clinton County Board Chairman.

LOGANTON — Nicholas Meat, LLC, broke ground on its Sustainable Resource Facility (SRF), an innovative and comprehensive environmental management system that will allow the company to reuse water and generate green energy from biogas. The Loganton family-owned beef processing facility employs more than 350 employees at the plant and 150 contract workers.

The SRF will feature waste-to-energy technology and an advanced water treatment facility. Once fully operational, the facility will help reduce truck traffic at Nicholas Meat, contain and minimize odor, create renewable energy, decrease the company’s carbon footprint and capture greenhouse gases.

“Like many I see here today, I am proud to call Sugar Valley my home,” said Brian Miller, Director of Sustainability at Nicholas Meat. “When I am not working, I spend most of my spare time hunting the mountains of Sugar Valley and fishing the many rivers, streams and lakes in the region. So, in addition to my role as the company’s Sustainability Director, I have a personal interest in seeing this project through.

“In the sixth grade, I caught my first brook trout in a small tributary to our very own Fishing Creek and I want to ensure others can experience the same opportunity. I believe the construction of the SRF is ethically and environmentally the most meaningful improvement we can make to demonstrate our commitment to the future.”

The groundbreaking Wednesday drew praise from public officials, including Secretary of Agriculture Russell C. Redding, who was a keynote speaker at the event.

“This administration recognizes the critical role agriculture plays in building a strong economy and strong rural communities in our state,” said Redding. “The marketplace is asking for more sustainability in food products. From the farmers to the processors, I am grateful the food system in Pennsylvania is responding. Today’s groundbreaking of the Sustainable Resource Facility is a significant step toward ensuring our food supply is sustainable. The Nicholas Meat SRF is bringing world-class technology to Pennsylvania that will serve as a model throughout the meat processing industry.”

U.S. Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12) applauded the Nicholas family for investing in the Sugar Valley community 30 years ago.

“Without the vision of Nicholas Meat, we wouldn’t be here today. We wouldn’t have 350 people going to work every day providing the sustainable food that we rely on,” said Keller. “When you look at the project, it’s about doing the right thing for our environment, it’s about doing the right thing for our community and it’s about making sure Nicholas Meat is successful well into the future.”

Also discussed during the groundbreaking was a new conservation area being developed by Nicholas Meat as compensation for the forested riparian buffer and watercourse impacts that will occur because of the land development needed for the SRF. This new conservation site, totaling 12.03 acres, includes the planting of 2,500 newly planted trees and a wide variety of native wetland grasses and wildlife, and will be protected with a conservation covenant that will remain with the land in perpetuity.

Nicholas Meat Chief Operating Officer Doug Nicholas thanked everyone in attendance for their support of the project and sharing this special day with the company. Other speakers at the event included, Clinton County Economic Development President and CEO Mike Flanagan, Michelle McCain of Representative Stephanie Borowicz’s office, and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau State Board Director John Painter II, who is also a beef and dairy producer.

Construction on the facility begins this summer and will take an estimated 24 months to complete. Currently the project is estimated to cost $50 million and will be funded solely by Nicholas Meat LLC.

A video that includes an animated rendering of the facility can be found at www.nicholasmeats.com/sustainability.

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