Sanderson Farms plans $200M poultry complex in ETX; facility could create 1,700 jobs

Sanderson Farms plans $200M poultry complex in ETX; facility could create 1,700 jobs

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - A poultry company could bring 1,700 new jobs to East Texas with a planned $200 million expansion.

Sanderson Farms, Inc. has tentatively announced the construction of a new feed mill, hatchery, poultry processing plant and waste water treatment facility in Smith and Wood Counties.

Friday, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller expressed his support for the move, saying "Sanderson Farms couldn't have picked a better location than Texas to construct new facilities."

In a statement from Miller's office, the commissioner further issued his support for the new poultry operations.

"Texas has a strong economy, but we have an even stronger workforce. Texans are eager to work hard and continue our rich agricultural heritage into the twenty-first century. I'm very pleased to hear that so many ag-related jobs are being created in East Texas," Miller said.

Miller's office said the plans call for a state-of-the-art poultry complex that has the capacity to process 1.25 million birds per week.

Thursday, Sanderson Farms also released a statement on the expansion:

"Sanderson Farms, Inc. announced today that sites located in Smith and Wood Counties, Texas, have been tentatively selected for construction of a new feed mill, hatchery, poultry processing plant and waste water treatment facility, subject to the contingencies discussed below. These facilities will comprise a state-of-the-art poultry complex with the capacity to process 1.25 million birds per week for retail chill pack customers. At full capacity, the complex will employ approximately 1,700 people, will require 80 contract growers, and will be equipped to process and sell approximately 375 million pounds of dressed poultry meat annually at full production.

Sanderson Farms expects to invest approximately $200 million in the new Texas complex and anticipates that associated contract growers will invest an additional $135 million in poultry production facilities. The Company expects to begin construction of the facilities during summer 2017, with initial operations of the new complex to begin during the first fiscal quarter of 2019.

Commencement of construction of the new complex is subject to completion of tax abatement and incentive agreements with public subdivisions and the state of Texas and obtaining final required permits from appropriate agencies.

According to Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc., the selection of these sites followed a thorough due diligence process.

"We are grateful for the cooperation from the economic development and governmental officials in Tyler, Mineola and Lindale, Texas; Wood and Smith Counties; and the State of Texas," said Sanderson. "We believe this expansion will enhance our ability to drive revenues and earnings and allow us to continue our record of building long-term value for our shareholders. The additional capacity of 1.25 million birds per week represented by the new complex will provide new marketing opportunities for the Company for retail grocery customers. We are pleased that our recent financial performance has put us in a position to continue to grow our Company."

Sanderson Farms, Inc. is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh, frozen and minimally prepared chicken. Its shares trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol SAFM."

Nationwide, Texas is ranked sixth in broiler production, sixth in egg production and sixth in the value of poultry exports, according to the agriculture commissioner's office. Miller's office said the economic impact of all ag-related business in Texas totals more than $100 billion annually.

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