CEDAR BLUFF, Va. (WVVA)- Something fishy is happening in Tazewell County. But, we're not talking about suspicious, we're talking about Salmon, and Pure Salmon is going to be investing over 200 million dollars right here in Southwest Virginia. It's set to be an economic driver for future generations.
The idea for an aqua farm in southwest Virginia may seem odd to some. But when county leaders were planning the project with Pure Salmon. Chairman of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, Tom Lester said, it was a perfect fit.
"The idea of bringing companies from Israel to here was not necessarily the original idea. It was more of what we could do to expand the markets. It quickly changed, so with Delegate Moorefield and other leadership in the community, we started seeing this as a great partnership. There are a lot of similarities in our culture, and there's a lot of history of agriculture in Southwest Virginia."
That history of agriculture will now lead to an economic future for the region. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created here. Project Manager Paul Inskeep said the facility will farm Salmon that are healthier, safer, and more common for consumers, and it all happens under one roof.
"The more labor-intensive aspect, quite frankly, the processing of the fish after the fact. From an operation prospective, we talked about vertically integrated. Really what we are talking about here is everything from egg to plate if you will, happen in one facility."
The effort in Southwest Virginia will bring surrounding counties together through a revenue share. Lester says this will create a stronger Southwest Virginia.
"We've realized that here in the coal fields, what we have in common and the values that we share are so much alike. When we work together, we can succeed."