SIMSBORO, La. (WAFB) - House of Raeford Farms, a top 10 chicken producer, announced Tuesday, July 23 the company will invest $40.9 million in a new feed mill in Simsboro, Louisiana. The facility will be capable of producing 12,500 tons of chicken feed weekly, doubling the capacity of an older mill in Choudrant, Louisiana, which it will replace.
The company will create 13 new direct jobs at an average annual salary of $41,385, plus benefits, and will retain 36 existing jobs from the Choudrant mill. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 36 new indirect jobs, for a total of 49 new jobs for Lincoln Parish and the Northwest Region.
In nearby Bienville Parish, House of Raeford also will invest at least $5.7 million in upgrades to its hatchery in Gibsland and its processing plant in Arcadia. That project will create an additional 105 new direct jobs while retaining 924 jobs. LED estimates those improvements will result in 284 new indirect jobs, for a total of 389 new jobs for Bienville Parish and the Northwest Region.
Based in North Carolina, House of Raeford Farms distributes chicken products to food service companies, retail grocery stores, schools, further-processing companies and export channels.
Construction of the new feed mill in Simsboro will take 18 months to two years to complete, while improvements to the Gibsland hatchery and Arcadia processing plant will be finished earlier, the company estimates. The expansions will allow House of Raeford to contract for 86 additional poultry houses in the region. Under poultry house contracts, a company supplies birds and feed, and farmers provide housing, utilities and labor to raise chickens for the company. Development of the new poultry houses will generate an additional $28 million in construction-related spending in the region.
To secure the Lincoln Parish project, LED offered House of Raeford Farms a competitive incentive package that includes a performance-based Economic Development Award Program grant of $500,000 to offset the cost of infrastructure improvements. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.