Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based Peco Foods announced plans this week to build a fully integrated poultry complex in Randolph and Clay Counties in northeastern Arkansas.  The new facilities will include a hatchery, feed mill, and processing plant.  The company plans to invest an estimated $165 million in the two locations and create 1,000 new jobs.

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 will incorporate state-of-the-art waste water treatment and protein conversion facilities in the new complex that will utilize the latest technology, said Mark Hickman, president and CEO of Peco Foods, in a press release.  “In keeping with our commitment to protect the environment, we believe the new systems will be a model for the industry,” Hickman said.

On Monday in Little Rock, Hickman joined Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe; local, regional, and state economic development officials; and elected officials for the announcement at the Arkansas State Capitol. “We are extremely pleased to formally announce this new project today,” Hickman said.  “As we have experienced firsthand with our complex in Batesville, the state of Arkansas is home to an outstanding workforce that share the goals and values of our company.  I want to thank Governor Beebe and his team for this 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, Peco operates a feed mill in Newark, Arkansas.   “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 the 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.”