ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – Land O’Lakes plans to build a new animal feed manufacturing plant in Roanoke, Virginia.

The company decided to build a new facility in lieu of acquiring the feed assets of Southern States Cooperative (SSC). Land O’Lakes announced in November 2016 that the company and SSC entered into a Letter of Intent to purchase SSC’s feed assets, but later decided “the company is looking to move more quickly in this strategic market than the discussions with Southern States allowed,” said Beth Ford, group executive vice president and COO of Land O’Lakes.

Ford said the southeast region of the United States represents the single biggest growth opportunity for the company’s Purina animal nutrition business.  Land O’Lakes will continue to serve current and future customers from existing facilities, with distribution through warehouses in Kentucky and Virginia.

“We will continue to apply the strong research capabilities of our 100+ Ph.D. scientists at our research facility outside of St. Louis, Missouri, to bring cutting-edge horse, cattle and other animal feed products to customers in the Southeastern United States,” Ford said.

Land O’Lakes is a member-owned agribusiness and food company cooperative that generates $13 billion in annual sales. The company sells products under the Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField United and Land O’Lakes Sustain brands.