AgroLiquid Plants Itself at Megasite as First Tenant

By TONY BRITT / March 20, 2024

Watch the Groundbreaking Video

AgroLiquid administrators (from left) David Gilliam, Gerrit Bancroft, Nick Bancroft, Alan Kennedy and Todd Cressman toss dirt from their shovels during Tuesday morning’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new AgroLiquid plant at the North Florida Mega Industrial Park.

A collective community dream formed more than two decades ago became a reality Tuesday morning when the North Florida Mega Industrial Park held a groundbreaking ceremony for its first business.

Representatives from AgroLiquid, county officials and several local business and economic development partners, along with community members, gathered to commemorate the occasion for the ceremony that lasted roughly 30 minutes.

With a crowd of close to 100 people in attendance, representing a heavy local agri-business interest, AgroLiquid and local officials used gold-handled shovels with green shovel heads to officially turn the first pieces of soil for the AgroLiquid business site in Columbia County.

AgroLiquid, a Michigan-based company, through Bancroft Performance Investments, purchased about 20 acres at the park from Weyerhaeuser last month for $1.3 million.

The family-owned liquid fertilizer company plans to construct a liquid fertilizer facility at the site.

The company, which was founded in 1983 by Douglas Cook and Troy Bancroft, a father and son-in-law tandem, has manufacturing sites in Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan and California.

AgroLiquid plans to construct a 48,355-square-foot production facility and initial plans call for the site to employ 10-15 people.

Gerrit Bancroft, AgroLiquid operations director, and his brother, Nick Bancroft, AgroLiquid CEO, were the first two people to grab shovels and toss dirt on Tuesday.

“It’s very exciting to get to this step for us, as well as Columbia County and the North Florida Mega Industrial Park,” said Gerrit Bancroft, who addressed the audience during the ceremony. “We’re excited to get going. It’s been a great opportunity to interphase with the community and we look forward to a long-term partnership.”

Bancroft said within the next 90 days there should be equipment on site with people working on building the site.

Clara Robinson, Fort White High School FFA President, reads a proclamation designating March 19 as Agriculture Day in Columbia County during the AgroLiquid groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning. According to the 2022 Census of Agriculture, there are 867 farms in Columbia County accounting for 89,621 acres of land producing over $600 million in Gross Regional Product.

“I am thrilled,” he said. “It’s been a long process just in all of the planning and the most fun part of any construction project is when all the equipment starts going and you see the progress and people get excited, so we’re excited.”

When he addressed the audience, Bancroft noted AgroLiquid is attempting to open the business in about a year’s time.

Jennifer Daniels, Columbia County Economic Development Director, was pleased to have the first business occupant for the site.

“It’s an exciting day,” she said. “We’ve been working on this as a whole for over 20 years for our first company to come here and to be a company that understands, believes and lives our agricultural heritage, it’s a blessing. It’s a great day for us.”

Daniels said a Florida Jobs Growth grant, awarded in 2017, really kicked-off the construction at the park with a wastewater plant and shortly after came a grant from the same agency for rail spur, both signed by then Gov. Rick Scott

“Those were critical for getting this entire industrial park really up and going,” Daniels said, noting the wastewater plant is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year or early 2025.

The deal with AgroLiquid has been in the works for years, Daniels said, noting Gerrit Bancroft called in late October 2022.

“They were finishing a new plant out on the West Coast, so once they wrapped-up that construction they came back and picked up the conversation looking for some place in North Florida and this is the site that they choose.”

Ron Williams, Columbia County Commission Chairman, has been on the county commission since the NFMIP concept first developed and had tears in his eyes as he spoke about getting the first business in the site.

“It feels great,” Williams said of finally breaking ground. “One of the greatest accomplishments in my career as a county commissioner. I can see Columbia County’s future from here. It’s great day for Columbia County. It’s a start for Columbia County — once you get that first one then others will come.”

Williams called the day a historic day for Columbia County and said the county missed out on the first company that wanted to be housed at the site due to the availability of water which led to the county installing its own well and sewage and partnering with the City of Lake City to make sure they didn’t lose any other companies.

“We have the infrastructure in place to give every company what they need if they are looking at Columbia County,” he said. “I’m more than optimistic. I just see the future and see that you can’t hold us back anymore. We’ve got what it takes to compete with anyone.”

Williams noted the importance of the occasion and said it’s just the beginning step for the county’s economic development.

“This is a historic day when it comes to Columbia County economic development,” he said.

Daniels agreed with Williams’ assessment of how Tuesday’s groundbreaking is expected to open other economic opportunities for the county.

“This is the first of many,” she said. “We’ve got several other projects that are in the works, but when you have that first to break ground and people start seeing construction, then the interests really pick up and it becomes a viable project at that time. When you see things being built, drives interest. We’re just excited for the future of this park and Columbia County.”


AgroLiquid Announces Plans for New Production Facility in Lake City, Florida

Forty years of innovation in plant nutrition to culminate in Southeastern expansion.

Contact: SARAH JOHNSTON / March 6, 2024

AgroLiquid announces the upcoming construction of a new 48,355-square-foot production facility in Lake City, Florida. This strategic decision reflects AgroLiquid’s unwavering commitment to prosper the farmer, by providing liquid fertilizers closer to our customers through faster and more efficient services.

The new facility, situated on nearly 20 acres within the North Florida Mega Industrial Park (NFMIP), will bolster AgroLiquid’s ability to meet the evolving needs of farmers across the southeastern United States, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. By establishing a local manufacturing presence, AgroLiquid aims to streamline operations, reduce transportation time and cost, and minimize environmental impacts associated with current long-distance product hauling.

The design of the facility prioritizes safety, with closed-loop containment areas featuring stainless steel storage tanks and fully enclosed concrete trenches for product handling. Layout of both the containment area and truck-loadout area ensures the capacity to hold 110 percent of the largest container on site. This requirement is mandated for facilities in some states and is a standard practice in all AgroLiquid manufacturing locations.

“This new manufacturing facility marks a significant milestone for AgroLiquid. It is a testament to our dedication to excellence and our confidence in the future of our industry,” said Nick Bancroft, CEO for AgroLiquid. “We look forward to creating this space that not only enhances our production capabilities but also brings us closer to our customers in the southeast and contributes positively to the Lake City community.”

In addition to generating new job opportunities, the Lake City facility will contribute millions of dollars in private capital investment to the local economy, supporting the region’s rich agricultural heritage, and fostering overall economic growth and stability. Moreover, AgroLiquid remains steadfast in its commitment to safety and environmental stewardship.

The production of AgroLiquid products is designed to generate zero waste that could pose a threat to the environment and surrounding areas. Specifically, the Lake City site is committed to not producing any waste, hazardous materials, excessive noise or water and land contaminants.

AgroLiquid looks forward to the positive impact this facility will have on the local community, the agricultural sector, and our continued dedication to excellence in plant nutrition.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new production facility is scheduled for March 19, 2024, and the facility is expected to be fully operational by early 2025.

For information about AgroLiquid’s other locations and products, visit

AgroLiquid manufactures and distributes high-efficiency liquid fertilizer formulated to protect nutrients from loss to the environment. AgroLiquid’s products work with, instead of against, the biology of the soil, which makes them more usable by the crop. Continuous research and product improvement, coupled with an ethical business model, keeps AgroLiquid focused on its mission: “To Prosper the Farmer.”

AgroLiquid Taking Root at Mega Site

By JAMIE WACHTER / January 24, 2024

The first company is about to plant its roots at the North Florida Mega Industrial Park. AgroLiquid, a Michigan-based liquid fertilizer company, is expected to close on the purchase of approximately 20 acres at the site this week. It’s site plans for the 48,355 square-foot facility at the site are also up for approval by Columbia County’s planning and zoning board on Thursday. Jennifer Daniels, the county’s economic development director, said it’s been a long path for the county to get that first tenant at the site, but it has been “well worth it.”

“Extremely excited and it’s not just because it’s our first company, it’s because it’s this company,” Daniels said. “It’s a company that supports farming, what Columbia County is. Really, this is home for this type of company. They’re familiar with our people, they’re familiar with our way of life and what we do and the farming culture here, it’s a very good fit.”

The company was founded in 1983 by Douglas Cook and Troy Bancroft, a father and son-in-law. Bancroft’s three sons are now overseeing the company, which Daniels said was looking to expand its operation into the southeast. Currently the company has manufacturing and distribution sites— like the NFMIP facility will be — in Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, Iowa and California in addition to Michigan.

“This will be their first experience in the southeast,” Daniels said. “So, they’re learning our cycles. They now know they have two growing cycles that they’re not used to, things like that.”

The process of AgroLiquid spreading its operation to Columbia County began in the fall of 2022, Daniels said. The company called her office as they were looking for somewhere in North Florida.

“(They) wanted to know if we had any land available,” she said.

As the conversation unfolded and she learned that rail was going to be necessary for AgroLiquid, as it will bring their raw goods for their fertilizer mixes in by railcar, they began looking at the industrial park.

“Just from there, kept working the process until they had all their answers, and we had all the right answers for them,” she said.

According to the site plans submitted to the county for approval, the facility will feature four tanks for mixing the fertilizers to be packaged and distributed. One tank will be a two-million-gallon tank while the others are set to hold 500,000 gallons. According to the company’s website, it sells nitrogen fertilizers, phosphorous fertilizers,
potassium fertilizers, biofertilizers and products that focus on micronutrients and secondary nutrients.

From there, the products will be sold to wholesale companies to sell to individuals.

“It’s not customer facing,” Daniels added. “It’s a very small office building.”

Once AgroLiquid closes on the land, as well as hears about some potential funding from the USDA for the project, Daniels said they will quickly submit building plans to the county and get started. She added the company hopes to be open for business at the site by the end of the year.

“They have a very tight (schedule),” she said.

Daniels added the county, which is in the process of constructing a wastewater treatment plant at the industrial park, will be ready to meet AgroLiquid’s rail needs. She said the Columbia County Commission is expected to vote at its first February meeting on an agreement with a rail provider to handle the shoreline needs inside the park.

“The rail has been involved, working with the company for the last, I’d say, six months,” she said. “They’ve been involved in this from quite some time.”

Massive FPL Solar Farm May Spark NFMIP Growth – Proposed Site Could Include Five Solar Farms

By JAMIE WACHTER / May 11, 2023

Florida Power & Light’s next solar farm in Columbia County may provide more than just electricity. The Price Creek Solar Energy Center may also energize growth at the North Florida Mega Industrial park. FPL’s solar farm, located just south of the industrial park off of State Road 100, will help attract businesses to the site, Jennifer Daniels, the county’s economic development specialist told the Economic Development Advisory Board at its meeting Wednesday.

“Any major business coming in will see that and instantly think green energy,” Daniels said of the solar plant, which will be less building manufacturer that is a two-part project that would have a manufacturing facility as well as locations to build on. than 1/4 mile south of NFMIP. “That’s kind of the catch phrase of the day. A lot of these larger companies are wanting to come in and power their entire operation off solar or green energy.”

An FPL spokesperson did not respond to multiple attempts for comment on the project Wednesday.

What those businesses will see from FPL’s site near the industrial park will be one 74.5MW solar center, to start.
But Daniels said the plans for the near 3, 600 acres that FPL acquired in the area is for up to five independent solar farms each capable of producing 74.5MW of energy. “This is definitely a good thing for us,” Daniels said.

FPL is hosting an open house about the project at Florida Gateway College’s Wilson S. Rivers Library on May 18 from 5-7 p.m. Daniels said FPL wants to move quickly on the first phase of the project with groundbreaking likely around January.
FPL currently has two 74.5MW solar plants along Interstate 10 in Columbia and Suwannee counties, the Sunshine Gateway Solar Energy Center and the Echo River Solar Energy Center.

Water on Tap for Mega Site

By JAMIE WACHTER / December 15, 2021

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow. The Suwannee River Water Management District’s governing board unanimously approved a water use permit request by Columbia County for the North Florida Mega Industrial Park during its meeting Tuesday morning.

The permit will allow the county to draw up to 2.16 million gallons of water a day from two 18-inch wells to cover the demand of at least three industrial users within the 2,622-acre service area of the industrial park.

“It’s a pivotal moment for Columbia County in terms of ensuring our future growth and our ability to provide economic development and job opportunities for all of our citizens of the region, not just Columbia County but all the surrounding counties,” County Manager David Kraus said during the meeting.

“It is critical and pivotal for our growth and sustaining our families for the future.” Currently, the park has one confirmed tenant after the Columbia County Board of County Commissioners approved an economic development deal last month with Project Wave. That tenant, which is purchasing up to 30 acres from Weyerhaeuser, will have a capital investment between $12 million and $14 million and is expected to bring 50-100 new jobs to the county.

According to the county’s initial permit request filed in January — it was later withdrawn before resubmitted in April — industrial users at the park were described as a plastic recycling manufacturer and a personal protective equipment manufacturer. Kraus said last week that the PPE provider is no longer a possible tenant at the mega site. In addition to Project Wave, he said the county is still working on two to three other projects that are “strong prospects.”

A strong component to the county’s request for the water use was its plans to offset the effects of the proposed groundwater withdrawals. That plan includes a reclamation facility at the industrial park to treat wastewater from the site for reuse as a lower-quality water source or for aquifer recharge as well as drainage wells on Lake Harris on the western side of the county.

“A new use has to offset its entire impact,” said Warren Zwanka, the director of the district’s Division of Resource Management, when asked by the board about minimum flows and levels moving forward. “By our numbers, the supplemental recharge that you get at the Lake Harris recharge wells…more than offset the proposed withdrawals.”

Kraus said that aspect was something the county takes seriously.

“We’re actively committed to recharge,” he said. “We think that’s a very important aspect and want to continue working with the district on recharge projects as we move forward.”


Family-Magazine-Lake-City Click on the image to read all about the rail spur!


Groundbreaking Begins on New Rail Spur Segment at North Florida Mega Industrial Park



Exciting economic development progress for the North Central Florida region! The groundbreaking for the new rail spur connecting rail spur connecting into NFMIP was held December 12, 2019. Pictured l to r: Senior Manager Planning, Greg Galpin – Weyerhaeuser ; Charles “Hank” Hankerson, Vice President Operations – RailUSA, LLC; Ron Williams, Chair – Columbia County Commission; Crystal Stiles, Director of Economic Development – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL); Florida House of Representatives Chuck Brannan, District 10; Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist – Florida Chamber Foundation ; and Carl Warren, Director of Ports & International and Industrial Development – CSX .


Major Milestone Achieved at Economic Development Catalyst Site in Columbia County

LAKE CITY, Fla. (December 12, 2019) — Columbia County leaders, along with their public and private partners, today broke ground and hammered in golden spikes to start construction of a rail spur segment at the 2,600-acre North Florida Mega Industrial Park (NFMIP). Once complete in early 2020, the new rail spur will connect the shovel-ready Mega Site to Class III railroad, Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railway (FGA) via a CSX interchange. NFMIP is an Approved U.S. Opportunity Zone with a mainline connecting Jacksonville to New Orleans.

Dozens of business and economic development leaders, site selectors and elected officials were on hand to witness the first groundbreaking at the catalyst site — which is positioned to accommodate a large company or manufacturer looking to build or expand in the North Florida region. Attendees included representatives from FGA, Rail USA, Florida Power & Light Company, Florida Chamber of Commerce, CSX, Florida Department of Transportation, The City of Lake City, Moore Bass Consulting, Lake City Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and Columbia County Board of Commissioners.

“Columbia County would like to thank the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Weyerhaeuser and all of our partners who have contributed countless hours and tremendous efforts into making this vision a reality. This rail spur is the final piece of infrastructure needed to complete this catalyst site, making the North Florida Mega Industrial Park ready for development,” said Commissioner Tim Murphy, Chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Board.

CSX certified the site for the County, and Rail USA and the County are now constructing the rail spur that will run across Highway 90 directly into NFMIP.

“As the County’s newest partner, we are pleased to move this project forward and build on the work that has already been done by CSX. Once we complete the construction of the short-line rail, the North Florida Mega Industrial Park will truly be a multi-modal site that attracts larger rail-served industrial end-users. We want to congratulate Columbia County for achieving this major milestone in the development of the North Florida Mega Industrial Park as a catalyst for economic development,” said Charles “Hank” Hankerson, Vice President of Operations for Rail USA.

The single-owner supersite is located in Lake City, near the Florida/Georgia border. The Park is certified as a McCallum Sweeney Mega Industrial Park and a CSX Select Site. The Park has been approved for eight million square feet of industrial development and 100,000 square feet of commercial and retail development. It has access to a regional labor force of more than 1.2 million within a 60-mile radius.

“The groundbreaking of this rail spur is another positive step to further develop this regional economy, which will help Florida reach the Florida 2030 goal of becoming the 10th largest economy in the world,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Not only will this rail spur help attract companies to the area, but more goods and freight from across Florida will also be transported through Lake City. This is a win for job creation in Columbia County, and a win for Florida’s economic development.”

Weyerhaeuser is one of the largest landowners in the Southeast and provided the land for the NFMIP.

“The Weyerhaeuser team is pleased to celebrate this milestone with Columbia County and all of the organizations that have made today possible,“ said Greg Galpin, Senior Planning Manager at Weyerhaeuser. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Columbia County to bring industrial development to this site and are expecting many more groundbreakings at the North Florida Mega Industrial Park in the future.”

Crystal Stiles, senior director of economic development at FPL, said the company is proud to be the energy provider and partner for the shovel-ready site.

“We all know how important it is that a site is ready with utilities – water, sewer and power. And having the rail system right there makes it even more attractive. This makes it easier for prospective businesses to envision themselves here,” said Stiles. “In addition to providing reliable and affordable energy, we are committed to working with companies to ensure they find their next home base here. We look forward to continuing our partnership as we all work toward the common goal of economic prosperity for the region and state.”


North Florida Mega Industrial Park (NFMIP) is a 2,622-acre mega-site with water, wastewater, electric, natural gas and telecommunications. It is zoned for eight million square feet of industrial, manufacturing and logistics development, plus 100,000 square feet of commercial/retail use. NFMIP is an approved U.S. Opportunity Zone situated in Lake City, Columbia County, featuring three miles of prime frontage on U.S. Highway 90, with Interstates 75 and 10 within 15 minutes. This mega-site is served by Class III railroad, Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad via a CSX interchange, providing preferred accessibility to ports, airports and rail lines.