Colorado has a long, rich tradition of raising potatoes that dates back to the early 1880’s. Today, it is one of the top producing regions in the U.S., and the majority of the potatoes are grown in the San Luis Valley.
While supporting a robust stock of producers, the San Luis Valley region was lacking in processors. This need for packaging facilities led White Rock Specialties, LLC to seek funding to establish a potato packaging facility in Mosca, Colorado and purchase the necessary equipment. The facility would focus on organic specialty potatoes grown in the region.
Working with our partners at First Southwest Bank of Colorado and the Small Business Administration, USDA Rural Development was able to assist White Rock with a Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan. The loan guarantee made it possible for the lender to provide permanent financing for White Rock Specialties to purchase an old school building in Mosca, retrofit it to meet their needs, and purchase the necessary equipment for operations.
Mosca, Colorado sits in Alamosa County - an area that has been challenged by economic struggles and is currently targeted by USDA as a StrikeForce County and a Persistent Poverty County. As a new employer for the area, White Rock was welcomed in the community with open arms. During the first year of operation, White Rock was so busy they had to turn down contracts because they were already operating at capacity. The business has continued to be steady, allowing them to hire an additional 15 workers to accommodate the increase. Now, they are ready to expand their capacity at the current location and are looking for additional financing. The new expansion will allow the entity to process the potatoes more efficiently and they hope to be able to satisfy the need for organic potato packaging in the San Luis Valley and be a hub for locally grown potatoes. USDA Rural Development stands ready to help them with their next phase of growth, too.
Partners: First Southwest Bank and Small Business Administration
Demographics: Local potato producers are being assisted through this facility
Impact: A state of the art potato packaging bagging facility for organic and specialty potatoes was built; while adding 15 new jobs in the area.