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Farbest Foods Makes Major Commitment in Knox County

Farbest Foods Makes Major Commitment in Knox County
Turkey producer and processor expands by opening new plant.

If you live in Dubois County you already know about Farbest Foods. The company has headquarters there, plus a processing plant. Many producers grow turkeys on contract. One producer for Farbest in Dubois County says the company shoots straight, and that you can access and talk to the president, Ted Seger, when you need to.

Ready to roll: This Farbest Foods turkey processing plant was shiny and ready to go during ribbon-cutting ceremonies last week. If all goes well it will process turkeys this week.

Farbest is slated to open their new processing plant in the Vincennes Industrial park in Knox County this week. It's fully automated, with 227,000 square feet, covering roughly 5 acres. Once the first shift reaches full production, projected to be sometime in 2014, the company will employ 300 people that didn't have jobs with Farbest Foods before. The company hinted that it may add a second shift later which would mean hiring more people, but that depends upon growth of the company.

In addition, JFS Milling, a new feed mill to make turkey feed for Farbest Foods, opened in Bruceville, northeast of Vincennes. The plant began making pelleted feed in October. It will employ 30 people.

Bicknell, another small town in northeast Knox County, also sees benefit from the Farbest Foods expansion. A new turkey brooder hub is located there.

Farbest Foods ships about one million pounds of fresh and frozen turkey products daily to brand-name food processors both in the U.S. and around the world. Currently Farbest uses about 10 million turkeys per year. If you do the math that puts average weight above 35 pounds per bird. A contract producer says these birds are bred to reach as much as 40 pounds in weight.

The goal is to reach the level of processing 12.7 million turkeys each year once the Vincennes plant reaches full first-shift production, officials say. That will include processing at the original plant in Dubois County and the new plant in Knox County.

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