Sanderson Farms eyeing sites in Smith and Wood counties for expansion that would bring 1,700 jobs

Published on Friday, 17 March 2017 11:02 - Written by

ROY MAYNARD, rmaynard@tylerpaper.com

A planned $200 million poultry processing plant in Smith and Wood counties depends entirely on tax abatement packages and other incentives that will be announced on Monday, officials say.

Sanderson Farms Inc. announced on Friday a new feed mill, hatchery, and processing plant that will employ about 1,700 people and be capable of processing 1.25 million birds per week.

Tom Mullins of the Tyler Economic Development Council says the deal has been in the works for months, but it depends on incentives. The tax abatement deals will be announced in a press conference Monday morning, and will have to be approved by the city of Lindale, and by the Smith County and Wood County commissioners courts.

In a press release, Sanderson Farms CEO Joe F. Sanderson Jr. said the site selection was a lengthy 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,” Sanderson said in the release. “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 expects to invest $200 million in the complex, which will be located near Interstate 20, in the Lindale area. The exact location has not yet been announced.

Construction could begin as soon as this summer, with completion planned for 2019.

The massive new processing plant will mean Sanderson Farms will need more local growers, so there are plans for up to 80 new contract growers.

Tyler Mayor Martin Heines could say little on Friday, due to an agreement to let the company take the full package to its board on Monday.

“Out of respect, I can’t say much, but I can say that this is a great thing for our area,” he said. “This is a lot of jobs, and on Monday we’ll have more information on average salaries, etc. Bu they’re good jobs and we’re very pleased they’ve chosen East Texas for this new facility.”

 

 

Here’s the full press release:

"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."