Rendering courtesy of SCJ Alliance

The City of Tenino and the Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) broke ground this week on the Southwest Washington Agricultural Business Park, which will establish a food manufacturing, processing, storage, and packaging facility in Tenino.

The City of Tenino owns the site and is leasing it to the Thurston EDC for $10 per year. The park site, located on a 13-acre parcel, will also house a business center to provide regional agricultural business technical support services and become an agri-tourism destination, promoted along with other regional attractions and as part of the Thurston County Bountiful Byway. Future phases of the park will include research and educational components.

“The EDC has invested significant effort and leadership in regional agriculture development over the last four-and-a-half years,” stated Aslan Meade, Thurston EDC’s Director of Strategic Alliances and the park project manager. “One of the clearest COVID-19 lessons we are learning is how such a crisis can challenge our food supply chain. The Agricultural Park is just one of the ways we are working to build a more resilient regional food supply chain, focusing on local value-added production. We need to be growing and processing more local food for distribution to the people in our own region.”

The groundbreaking on the water and sewer extension to the park site was made possible by a Washington State Legislature capital budget appropriation of $600,000. The legislature also approved an additional $1.5 Million, which will go towards the park’s first building. Funding was also made possible for the park’s planning efforts by the Port of Olympia and USDA Rural Development.

More information available here.