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New Poultry Processing Plant coming to South GA

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Guest donaltopablo

Poultry plants planned for Ga.

By DAVE HIRSCHMAN

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 05/26/04

Sanderson Farms will spend $96 million to build new poultry processing plants in South Georgia that are expected to create up to 1,700 jobs, the Mississippi firm announced Tuesday.

The complex will include a feed mill and hatchery near Adel and a processing and wastewater treatment plant near Moultrie. Construction is to begin this summer, and the facilities are expected to open in late 2005.

"We had been looking at several locations in four Southeastern states," said Mike Cockrell, chief financial officer at Sanderson. "We chose Georgia because it put us a day closer to our customers [in the region]. This is a very good market for us, and it's growing."

Sanderson is the nation's sixth-largest poultry producer for restaurants and consumers, and it owns seven processing plants in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The South Georgia facilities are its first in the state, and they will have the capacity to process about 1.2 million chickens a week.

Jobs at Sanderson typically pay about $12.50 an hour, Cockrell said.

Georgia is the nation's largest poultry producer. Poultry farmers here raised 1.29 billion chickens last year, about 15 percent of the United States' 8.59 billion.

Sanderson earned $33.4 million, or $1.67 a diluted share, in this year's second quarter, vs. $12.8 million, or 65 cents a share, in the same period last year. Its shares trade on the Nasdaq market under the symbol SAFM.

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