Benton Economic Partnership, Inc., Benton County, and the City of Rice Welcome Performance Foodservice – Minnesota-Northland Cheese Expansion

Benton Economic Partnership, Inc., Benton County, and the City of Rice Welcome Performance Foodservice – Minnesota-Northland Cheese Expansion Main Photo

16 Jun 2021

Project to create 22 jobs and attract more than $12 million in capital investment

Foley – Today, the Benton Economic Partnership, Inc., in cooperation with Benton County and the City of Rice, announced the decision by Performance Food Group (PFG) to expand its Performance Foodservice – Minnesota/Northland Cheese manufacturing operation. The project, which will create at least 22 new jobs and represents a capital investment of more than $12 million in expanded facilities and new equipment, resulted from a collaboration among the county, the city, and the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED), and further strengthens the company’s long-standing commitment to the area.

“Benton Economic Partnership, Inc. is both pleased and grateful that Performance Food Group has chosen to expand its Rice manufacturing facility,” President Sandra Saldana said. “PFG has been a major corporate citizen in the city for many years, and we look forward to the company’s continued growth and success as it creates additional jobs for our county.”

“Performance Food Group has long been an invaluable part of the City of Rice as one of our largest industrial employers,” said Mayor Brian Skroch. “I am really excited to see this project move forward and for them to build on the proven success the company has enjoyed in our community. This investment should secure the continuation of that success for many years to come, and the city is proud to contribute to assist in their expansion. We value PFG’s continued investment to our community!”

“I want to thank Performance Food Group for its commitment to Benton County and the City of Rice.” Commissioner Ed Popp said, “Performance Food Group has been an important corporate partner in our community for decades. We appreciate the company and its leadership for furthering this commitment to the City of Rice.”

Performance Food Group, a leader in foodservice distribution, and the parent company of Performance Foodservice – Minnesota/Northland Cheese, has operated the Rice facility since 1976 and processes and distributes shredded cheese to PFG facilities and customers nationwide from the existing location.  The new jobs and investment will allow the company to better serve new and existing customers as well as create additional cheese production opportunities for Minnesota dairy farmers. 

“We have found Rice and Benton County to be a great location for our operations,” said Lloyd Haehnel, General Manager of Northland Cheese. “As customer demand for our product has grown, it was a natural choice to add the jobs and investment here. We are proud of our many hardworking and talented associates here and pleased to be expanding our presence in this wonderful community!”

As part of the collaboration that brought about today’s announcement, the Benton Economic Partnership worked to secure commitments from the MN DEED’s Job Creation Fund and Minnesota Investment Fund programs to support the project.  The Minnesota Investment Fund, which takes the form of a loan to the company, also permits $100,000 of the repaid amount to be retained by the City of Rice to support a revolving loan fund to advance future small business growth in the community.

Additionally, both the City of Rice and Benton County approved a partial abatement of the incremental property taxes generated by the company’s new investment as an incentive to win the project for the community.  Both the state and local incentives are performance based and are specifically tied to the company meeting specific job creation and investment targets.

Improvements to the existing facility are expected to begin this summer and will be completed in early 2022.  People interested in the new positions should search for jobs located in Rice at or visit for more information.