This week Howard Henderson, New Jersey State director for USDA’s Economic Development Administration, announced his agency’s grant of $1.45 million to Franklin Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, to ready a site for leasing to a food processing company, most likely a poultry processing plant.

The 73-acre location, now called the Route 40 Food Center, has buildings from the 1990s when Meredith Farms poultry plant operated.  The grant will be used to demolish he buildings.    Development costs are expected to exceed $2.9 million, according to local government officials.  A new processing plant could generate 200 jobs and leverage over $46 million in business investments in Southern New Jersey agriculture, according to local government officials.  Work on the project could begin next year.