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Poultry Processor Bringing 1,000 Jobs to Randolph, Clay Counties

Peco Foods to build processing plant and hatchery just outside Pocahontas and feed mill in Corning.
LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - Peco Foods, a fully integrated poultry processing and further processing company, today announced plans to locate a new, fully integrated poultry facility in Randolph and Clay counties. The new facility will include a hatchery, feed mill and processing plant. Through both locations, the company plans to add 1,000 new jobs and invest an estimated $165 million.

The processing plant and hatchery will be located just outside of Pocahontas’ city limits and the feed mill will be in Corning.

Mark Hickman, president and CEO of Peco Foods, joined Governor Mike Beebe, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill and leadership from Randolph and Clay Counties for the announcement in the Governor’s Conference Room at the State Capitol.

“We are extremely pleased to formally announce this new project today,” said Mark Hickman, president and chief executive officer of Peco Foods. “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. I want to thank Governor Beebe and his team for their assistance in making our Northeast Arkansas expansion a reality. We look forward to a long and very successful partnership.” 

Peco Foods has had a presence in Arkansas since 2011 when the company acquired the Townsends Poultry Complex in Batesville. In addition to the Batesville facility, the company also operates a feed mill in Newark, Arkansas. Through such acquisitions and expansions, Peco has grown to become the eighth largest poultry producer in the United States, processing approximately 24 million pounds of poultry each week.  

“When Peco Foods acquired an existing Arkansas facility a few years ago, it made a significant investment in the workers of Northeast Arkansas,” Governor Beebe said. “That investment has ultimately led to this major expansion. We are here today because Peco Foods knows the workforce in Randolph and Clay Counties has the necessary skills to take the company to the next level of success.”

Construction will begin in two phases. Groundbreaking on the feed mill site is set for April and the first stages of work on the hatchery and processing plant site will begin in July. 

“Peco Foods’ expansion of operations in Northeast Arkansas is a vote of confidence in the infrastructure, workforce, and business environment of Arkansas and the Delta region,” Chairman Masingill said. “We are proud to support Randolph and Clay counties in ensuring the necessary land and infrastructure to attract and retain great businesses like Peco Foods, so that they may create jobs for our Delta workers.”

Peco Foods is recognized worldwide for its dedication to quality and customer satisfaction. As a specialist in boneless breast products for retail grocers and food-service markets, Peco ships its products throughout the United States and into world markets.

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