SPRUCE PINE, Alabama – Mar-Jac Poultry Alabama LLC said today that it is investing about $50 million in its Northwest Alabama operations, creating and retaining more than 100 new and existing jobs and strengthening the company’s presence in the state.
The centerpiece of Mar-Jac Poultry’s investment is a new $25 million feedmill in the Franklin County community of Spruce Pine. The project will create at least 30 new jobs and retain 20 jobs from a nearby facility.
“After careful consideration, the Mar-Jac board of directors chose Spruce Pine as the location for this investment to ensure the present and future growth of our Northwest Alabama operations,” said Doug Carnes, a Mar-Jac director. “Mar-Jac’s new feedmill is a critical part of our poultry complex in supplying feed to farms throughout north Alabama.”
Carnes said the Spruce Pine location is close to the center of the company’s grower base. Critical to the new site was access to the Norfolk Southern railroad line that will be used to bring in up to 100 rail cars of grain and soy every seven to 10 days for the feedmill. Additional soy and corn will be purchased from local farms.
Officials with Norfolk Southern, the Franklin County Development Authority, the Alabama Department of Commerce and Alabama Power Co. were instrumental in selecting the new feedmill site and assisting with Mar-Jac Poultry Alabama’s additional growth plans.
Those growth plans include a $10 million expansion of the Mar-Jac processing plant in Jasper that will create 50 jobs and a $7 million expansion of Mar-Jac’s hatchery in Moulton that will create 25 jobs
Additionally, Mar-Jac Poultry Alabama LLC will contract with area farmers to construct 100 to 125 new broiler, pullet and hen houses in Northwest Alabama. This represents an additional estimated $50 million to be invested throughout the region.
“Alabama is a major poultry producing state, and the industry is responsible for a substantial economic impact and thousands of jobs,” Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said. “This expansion by Mar-Jac Poultry will strengthen the industry’s base in Northwest Alabama and create and retain jobs in Franklin, Walker and Lawrence counties, and throughout the region.”
Officials say Franklin County will benefit from the poultry industry’s continued growth in the region and across Alabama. According to the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association, the state’s poultry industry generates an economic impact topping $15 billion annually and is responsible for more than 85,000 jobs.
“The new investment and jobs created by Mar-Jac will be a major boost to our local economy,” said Mitch Mays, executive director for the Franklin County Development Authority. “Poultry and agriculture is the top industry in our region, and we are eager to see its continued growth.”
Franklin County Commission Chairman Barry Moore said Mar-Jac’s expansion plans will create opportunity and new jobs in the area.
“With the additional broiler, hen, and pullet houses to be built and the potential for local corn and soy farmers to do business with Mar-Jac, it will have a tremendous positive effect and spur additional direct and indirect job growth in Franklin County and the state,” Moore said.
Gainesville, Georgia-based Mar-Jac currently employs 900 in various locations in Alabama.