State official lauds Sunland expansion

Freedom New Mexico

The chief of New Mexico’s Economic Development Department hailed the expansion of Sunland Inc. peanuts as a model for other cities across the state.

Fred Mondragon’s remarks came Thursday while in Portales for a tour of the peanut processing plant and Eastern New Mexico University.

Mondragon is secretary of the state economic development department.

“This is exactly the type of employer we look for in medium size communities,” Mondragon said. “An employer that has reasonable wages, but one that also spreads the income that comes into the plant to the farmers, to the people who work in the community and to the mechanics who work on equipment.”

Mondragon said it is a win-win situation for Portales and a model for other towns to help support a business like Sunland Inc.

Jimmie Shearer, president of Sunland Inc., talked about the peanut business, and gave a tour of the plant.

Mondragon said one the of most exciting things about his job is being able to travel to places like Portales to see successful local people.

Sunland Inc., is adding 40 more jobs for its flavored peanut butter, a line of new products and a new building starting sometime next year.

The state economic development department contributed $156,000 to the project.