Fresh start for northeast Nebraska greenhouse previously raided by ICE
O’NEILL, Neb. (News Channel Nebraska) - A greenhouse in northeast Nebraska is getting a fresh start after a ribbon-cutting on Friday.
The former O’Neill Ventures facility hasn’t had many tomatoes being produced since 2018.
In August of 2018, the greenhouse underwent an ICE raid, arresting 133 people for immigration violations and costing the previous company millions.
But Daniel Minnig, head grower and plant manager of a new company taking over the facility, said he isn’t worried it will happen again.
“In the future, it does not worry me, as, you know, the new owners and everything that I have learned in the past allows us to prevent anything of that nature happening in the future,” said Minnig.
Even though his most recent venture was in Kentucky, Minnig is familiar with O’Neill and the greenhouse. He was an assistant when the business was under different management in 2017.
In April, the greenhouse went under new management with a new name – Millennium Produce of Nebraska.
The facility had seen a variety of vegetables in the past, however, Minnig said they are only focused on tomatoes at the time.
During the grow season, all 24 acres will hold about 239,512 tomato plants. All tomato plants are grown hydroponically.
Minnig said that they hope to have the greenhouse filled with tomato plants by February of next year.
As far as distribution of the hydroponically grown tomatoes, Minnig said that is out of his domain.
“We just produce to a marketer, so that marketer has their customers that they sell their tomatoes to. We do sell tomatoes here out the door for anybody who is interested to just come and pick up tomatoes that are locally grown,” said Minnig.
The greenhouse is almost ready for the new season of tomatoes.
“We’re doing our best to get all these upgrades in place and have everything ready and be successful for the upcoming years,” said Minnig.
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