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Mountaire Farms Moving into Siler City

Mountaire Farms Moving into Siler City


Recently, Mountaire Farms announced that they would be renovating and taking over the beleaguered Townsends poultry processing plant in Siler City.  Dan Campeau, area specialized agent for poultry with NC State University:

“Absolutely.  I think that the people in Siler City, when we lost the Townsends plant they lost five to six hundred jobs, and basically, Siler City put themselves on the line because they built a brand new water reservoir so that they could help Townsends with their water needs.  So, when the Ukrainian firm left the country and in leaving all this, basically Siler City was in a depressed economy, losing five and six hundred jobs.  So, this is really such a great thing, for our local economy.  And I think it’s not only going to help processing jobs, but also help anybody that wanted to be in the poultry industry that was left out by the Townsends fiasco could be picked up.  And also, Mountaire is also looking for people to get into building new houses for them.”

When the Ukrainian firm, that Campeau mentioned, suddenly picked up sticks and left the country, the situation left many poultry producers hanging.  Campeau says many of them were able to stay in business:

“Kudos to Farm Credit for actually working with these farmers while they were without contracts.  I don’t know of anybody that was serviced by North Carolina Farm Credit that was foreclosed on, they actually worked the farmers and helped them keep their farms while they were without contracts.  The other companies that were in this area like Perdue, Mountaire and Pilgrims actually picked up a lot of these broiler growers.  And there were also pullet growers and breeder growers that were picked up by those three companies also.”

If it sounds like we’ve heard this before…well…a couple of years ago another company said they were going to take over the old Townsends plant, and nothing ever came of it.  Campeau says this time is a little different:

“The other company was looking at the possibility of taking it over, and it depended on investors and the money just wasn’t there.  And I think Mountaire, as a company, pretty much is in a better financial situation, and when they say they’re going to take it over, and do this, I think it’s not a pie in the sky thing, they’re really going to do this.  And Mountaire has been a really good company for our community in this 12 to 14 county area.”

And Campeau says the processing plant coming back on line means opportunity for not only poultry farmers, but the area as a whole:

“The poultry industry, nationally, is actually looking pretty good, right now.  Our exports are up, our grain prices are moderate to low.  And I think that the business atmosphere just surrounding this whole growth is there.  So, I think it’s a great opportunity for this whole geographic area to see some economic improvement.”

Area Specialized agent for NC State, Dan Campeau.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.