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Gov. Mike Beebe on Monday announced that Peco Foods Inc. will invest an estimated $165 million and create 1,000 new jobs in Randolph and Clay counties in northeast Arkansas.

The Tusacloosa, Ala.-based firm's new, fully integrated poultry processing network will include a hatchery and processing plant, just outside Pocahontas' city limits, and a feed mill in Corning, Beebe's office said in a statement. Groundbreaking on the feed mill site is set for April, while the work on the hatchery and processing site is scheduled to start in July.

“We are extremely pleased to formally announce this new project today,” Peco Foods President and CEO Mark Hickman said in the statement. “Arkansas is an excellent place to do business, and we look forward to providing new jobs and an economic boost to Randolph and Clay Counties. As we have experienced firsthand with our complex in Batesville, this state is home to an outstanding workforce that shares the goals and values of our company."

Peco Foods, the eighth-largest poultry processor in the U.S., operates a poultry complex in Batesville and a feed mill in Newark.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments

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  • NotANative
    March 10, 2014 at 10:24 a.m.

    Another slaughter plant with low paying, unskilled jobs. Arkansas is an excellent place to do business, indeed.

  • outinthesticks
    March 10, 2014 at 10:32 a.m.

    NotA, somebody's got to do it if you want your chicken nuggets. Would you prefer China supply yours?

  • NotANative
    March 10, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

    The USDA has already changed its rules to allow the import of processed chicken from China. And I don't eat chicken nuggets. Not sure anyone should.

  • aimee
    March 10, 2014 at 12:24 p.m.

    washingtonpost. com/opinions/book-review-the-meat-racket-by-christopher-leonard/2014/02/28/3000c400-934c-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html
    .
    amazon. com/The-Meat-Racket-Takeover-Americas/dp/1451645813

  • outinthesticks
    March 10, 2014 at 4:17 p.m.

    NotA, I would prefer my chicken come from Randolph County rather than China, perhaps you wouldn't. I would also rather give an unskilled worker from Randolph County a job rather than welfare, perhaps you wouldn't.

  • Vickie55
    March 10, 2014 at 4:49 p.m.

    NotA, I would say that a low paying, unskilled job is still a step up from no job at all. Maybe you would prefer paying out more in welfare instead?

  • outinthesticks
    March 10, 2014 at 4:58 p.m.

    Aimee, I read your book review. If Tyson has no competition in the chicken business as Leonard claims, why is Peco referred to in this article as the 8th largest processor, which means there are at least 6 others? Sounds like competition to me. The writer also noted Mr. Leonard's affinity for the idyllic image of the farmer, which is for the most part a figment of imagination much the same way the Old West cowboy was. Are those of you who want to go back to that era on the farm prepared for the consequences?

  • RaylanGivens
    March 10, 2014 at 7:20 p.m.

    The only things aimee is prepared for are communism and mooching off of other people.

  • NotANative
    March 10, 2014 at 9:38 p.m.

    Some of these "unskilled" workers tend to move where the jobs are so implying that this is going to give 1000 folks already located in the area a job is naive at best. And you seem to be overlooking the fact that a low wage job does not guarantee that the worker does not still have to apply for assistance (i.e. the plight of many workers in fast food chains). Honestly, the issue is better jobs for Arkansans, better skills and better education, not low wage, low skilled mind numbing, de-sensitizing, jobs that cause almost as much misery to people as it does to animals.

  • aimee
    March 12, 2014 at 12:58 a.m.

    Outinthesticks:
    .
    The "8th largest" is a reference to the U.S. as a whole... In some areas there is only one processor available... It would be nice if there were at least 8 everywhere..!!!

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