Randolph and Clay Counties continue to prepare for Peco Foods
As Pocahontas and surrounding communities get ready for Peco Foods to come to the region, a grant has been awarded to help in the preparation process. KAIT reports the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority has received $20,000 to help alleviate the expenses for traveling to communities who have seen the start of major facilities. Executive Director Wayne Gearhart says they are visiting the communities to get advice on how to prepare and what pitfalls the communities should avoid. The money for the research is coming from Arkansas State University’s Delta Center for Economic Development Commission. Peco Foods expects to bring a fully integrated poultry complex to the area in 2016, which will bring about 1,000 new jobs to Clay and Randolph Counties. The 165 million dollar project includes a 255-thousand square-foot processing plant and a 73-thousand square-foot hatchery in Pocahontas and a feed mill and state-of-the-art water treatment and protein conversion facilities in Corning. Spokesman Steve Conley says Peco will work with more than 90 poultry farmers and dozens of grain farmers in northeast Arkansas. Conley estimates weekly grain usage will be in the range of 339-thousand bushels of corn and 24-hundred tons of soy meal for the complex. Peco Foods has a plant in Batesville and operates a feed mill in Newark. Peco is the eighth largest poultry processing company in the United States and processes about 24 million pounds of poultry each week.