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Grant assists Organic Valley expansion

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CASHTON, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Expansion plans for Organic Valley in Cashton get a boost Thursday from the State of Wisconsin.

Governor Scott Walker, DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb, and DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel gave the Village of Cashton a $1.4 Million check for their share of transportation projects planned for the area. The money was in the form of a Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grant to the village.

The village will use the money to build new streets and reconstruct existing ones.  Bicycle and pedestrian paths are also in the works. Total cost of the projects is $3.2 million.

No one will argue that an expanding business isn't good for a community.

"It just helps the whole economy of the area if Organic Valley is in the area it keeps the other businesses going," George Flaig, Organic Valley Farmer said.

Last year, Organic Valley built a new distribution center in Cashton.

That expansion has created a bit more traffic and they need to expand the road to keep up.

"We're also having a loop road around our property that will allow us to control the traffic where the semis will go one way and the cars will go the other way," George Siemon, Co-Founder CROPP/Organic Valley said. "So there are a lot of issues around safety here but this just allows for expansion."

They're also building a new office in Cashton that will create 200 new jobs.

Governor Scott Walker said that's why Cashton deserves this $1.4 million grant.

"To add 200 jobs to a rural area like we have in the town of Cashton is incredibly important to make sure there more job opportunity," Walker said. "It sends a positive message to other employers this is a good place to put people to work."

It's not just about the roads; the expansion is good news for local farmers.

"With the stable Milk price/organic price," Flaig said. "It's allowed the next generation to come into farming."

A trickle effect, causing Flaig to consider expanding his family business.

After the roads project is complete and new office is built, Organic Valley said they hope to build a dairy processing plant which would bring 750 jobs to the area.

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