The oil fields of West Texas have been a major money-maker in the region for decades. Yet, recent developments in vegetable production could mean a new source of income and ag jobs for the area near Monahans.
“This is the future of farming,” said Helen Aquino, marketing director of Village Farms, in a report from KXAN.
Village Farms runs a 30-acre greenhouse housing only tomatoes. According to the report, the production capability is about the same as a 1,200-acre outdoor farm.
“This facility right now – three million pounds of tomatoes,” Aquino said in the report.
That number accounts for 90 percent of the Texas tomato crop.
“We're in all the major chains,” she said. “We're in WalMart, Sam's Club, H-E-B, in Whole Foods. From big box all the way down to mom and pop grocery stores, you can find us.”
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples toured the facility earlier this week.
“When I look around, I see jobs,” Staples said. After finishing all phases, the facility will employ about 400 new workers. “Ways that we can help Village Farms get the workers that they need,” he said. “If you don't have a job right now in this region of Texas, it's because you don't want one.”