Southern Roots Nut Co. plans to open a pecan processing facility in Dothan, creating 120 new jobs, according to Gov. Kay Ivey.

The New Mexico-based company will invest nearly $16.6 million to outfit an existing building and construct a new facility in Houston County as a hub to process, store and distribute raw pecans.

“Year after year, the skilled hands working at Alabama’s food production businesses prove there is a good reason the state’s agriculture industry has earned a national reputation,” Ivey said on Monday. “Southern Roots Nut Co. is a welcome addition to the business community in Sweet Home Alabama, and I know that its planned facility in Dothan will find success thanks to a dedicated and skilled workforce.”

Southern Roots is a pecan grower and processor that specializes in delivering high-quality pecans and pecan products to customers worldwide. The company focuses on sustainable farming practices and advanced technology to ensure efficiency and quality in its operations.

“The Wiregrass region continues to excel in diversifying its economy by welcoming Southern Roots Nut Co. The family values of Southern Roots will positively impact its future local workforce,” State Sen. Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva) and State Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan) said in a statement.

The company's products include shelled and unshelled pecans, flavored pecans, and pecan oil.

“My family has called Dothan home since early 2018, and I couldn’t think of a better place to continue our family’s tradition shelling and processing pecans than Dothan,” said Brandon Harrell, Southern Roots’ chief operating officer and sales president. “We are truly excited to partner with business-friendly state, county, and city officials who truly want the best opportunities for their respective areas. We’re honored to have roots in Dothan, Alabama.”

As part of the growth project in Dothan, Southern Roots committed to creating 120 jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $4.1 million, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce. The job creation is projected to take place over a two-year time frame.

“Pecans are a trademark product for Alabama’s agriculture industry, with an estimated 9,000 acres of orchards in the state,” Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Ellen McNair said. “The processing facility planned by Southern Roots is good news for those involved in the business of Alabama’s official state nut.”

The State of Alabama and the City of Dothan will aid the project through a package that includes tax credits and AIDT workforce development services. The City and the Industrial Development Board are assisting the company through the AMEA Capital Fund Program, local statutory tax abatements and discretionary support.

Officials in Dothan and Houston County applauded the company’s investment project.

“We are excited to welcome Southern Roots Nut Co. to our economically diverse community. The jobs that they are creating will have a long-lasting positive impact on our Wiregrass region,” Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba said.

According to the Department of Commerce, southern Roots selected the Dothan site over a competing location in Georgia.

“The people of Houston County are thankful for the opportunities that Southern Roots Nut Co. is bringing to our area. The company’s high standard of sourcing world-class pecans aligns well with the agriculturally rich Wiregrass community,” Houston County Commission chairman Brandon Shoupe said.

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