CROWLEY, La. (KLFY) — Gov. John Bel Edwards and Supreme Rice announced a $16.2 million expansion, including parboil facilities that will create a new line of ready-to-eat products and create as many as 100 new direct and indirect jobs.

According to Louisiana Economic Development, the expansion will create 20 direct jobs and up to 79 indirect jobs while retaining the existing 181 jobs in its current locations. The expansion will include a new greenfield facility in Mermentau, which will partially cook rice for new products. A parboil mill will also be included in Crowley in Supreme’s existing facility.

Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“As a processor of one of Louisiana’s key crops, Supreme Rice is both a cultural ambassador and an agribusiness leader for our state,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This expansion and the new jobs it will generate in Acadiana will help to sustain the growing momentum of our rural revitalization efforts.”

“Our new parboil facility in Mermentau will allow us to market this product line to customers,” CEO Bobby Hanks of Supreme Rice said. “The new parboil rice products will create another value-added milled rice offering that further supports the stability of Louisiana-grown rice.”

According to Supreme Rice, the company was founded in Kaplan in 1936 by Joseph Doré, moving to Crowley in 1937. Supreme was one of the first companies to build rice dryers, and today, it produces a billion pounds of rice annually for 50 nations worldwide.

“Supreme Rice Mill is a very important economic engine for Crowley, Acadia Parish, and the State of Louisiana,” Crowley Mayor Tim Monceaux said. “We are pleased and excited to have this expansion realized and look forward to the continued success and growth of this business. Under Bobby Hanks’ leadership, the rice mill has grown substantially, and we wish him the very best in his endeavors.”

“It is with hopeful and great anticipation that the new endeavor with Supreme Rice in Mermentau will bring the economic boost that is much needed to our village and community,” Mermentau Mayor Darla Istre said. 

To secure the project in Acadia Parish, the state of Louisiana provided Supreme Rice with a competitive incentive package that includes $750,000 from the state’s Economic Development Award Program. The company is also expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Enterprise Zone programs. 

“As one of Louisiana’s largest rice-milling operations, Supreme Rice is a cornerstone of our state’s agricultural economy,” said One Acadiana President & CEO Troy Wayman. “One Acadiana is proud to have worked with our partners at LED and the Acadia Parish Chamber to see this major expansion come to fruition. We congratulate Supreme Rice and our partners in Acadia Parish on this expansion and applaud the company’s 85 years of impact, investment, and leadership.”