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La Paz Economic Development Corporation has changed the county

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Dear La Paz: We are bright…

Written by John Gutekunst Parker Pioneer

The La Paz Economic Development Corporation has been active in bringing new development to La Paz County. By introducing projects like Rose Acre Farm, La Paz EDC has transformed the county's economy.

La Paz EDC is recognized as one of the top economic development organizations in the state. Much of that success can be attributed to former President Vincent “Skip” Becker. He was named Small Community Economic Developer of the Year in 2015 by the Arizona Economic Development Association. He serves on the board of his AAED and also serves as regional chairman.

When Becker received the award in 2015, La Paz EDC President Roberta Hoffman said: He forever changed La Paz County and the towns of Parker, Bowes, Salome, Quartzsite and Wenden. ”

Mr. Becker and EDC worked with other entities, including Arizona Public Service, Arizona and California Railroad, the Chamber of Commerce, and government agencies, to develop La Paz County. Projects he worked on include his Hampton Inn hotel and Parker's O'Reilly Auto Parts.

The biggest project Becker has brought to the county so far is Rose Acre Farms' Lone Cactus Egg Farm. The Seymour, Indiana-based company is the nation's second-largest egg producer. The company's facility is located on his 3,000 acres off State Route 72 south of Bowes, previously owned by APS.

In the first phase, Rose Acre Farms will employ 80 to 100 people. The facility currently houses 2 million egg-laying hens. There are also plans for expansion.

At the dedication of Rose Acre Farms' grain terminal and rail line in December 2018, Becker estimated he had spent 6,000 hours over the past five years building the company in La Paz County.

While researching the company, Becker noted that Rose Acres' employees are proud to work there, and that Rose Acres is family-oriented and part of the communities in which they have facilities. He said he knew something.

At the dedication ceremony, Mr. Becker described Rose Acres as a three-generation family-owned business. He praised Lois Rust, the woman he called “the matriarch of the family,” as a great businesswoman. He described Rose Acres CEO Marcus Rust as a visionary who will lead the company into the future.

Becker said Rust is surrounded by people who can make that vision a reality.

John Rust, Chairman of the Rose Acres Board of Directors, and Elias Hendricks, Director of Lone Cactus Egg Farm. He also praised Chips Eberhart, who worked very closely to bring Rose Acres to La Paz County.

Becker expressed his gratitude to the various people and organizations he said made it all possible. Arizona Public Service sold part of the land to Rose Acres. Arizona and California Railroad and its parent company, Genesee & Wyoming. Burlington Northern – Santa Fe; Grain Terminal, Builder of Summit Livestock Facility. and Mountain States Contracting Co., the builder of the railroad line.

He also spoke with agricultural engineer Jim Downing, the Arizona Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Arizona Farm Bureau, the La Paz County Board of Supervisors, the La Paz County Sheriff's Office, the Arizona Department of Commerce, the Town of Parker, and Bowes. and McMullen Valley Chamber of Commerce.

In closing, Mr. Becker expressed his gratitude to the La Paz EDC Board of Directors for allowing him to operate his business professionally.

Before leaving EDC, Becker said he was interested in developing housing in the area. If they bring jobs, he said, workers will need a place to live so they can pay their bills and shop here.

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