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South Dakota Turkey Plant to Close

Watertown company loss growers when Hutterite colonies built their own processing facility.

The success of a turkey plant built by Hutterite colonies in Huron, S.D., is part of the reason the Oak Valley Farms plant in Watertown, S.D., is closing.

Oak Valley, which employs 220 people, announced it will close by late September or early October. Rich Rogers, general manager, said that higher operating costs and loss of growers were the reasons the plant was closing.

Oak Valley had been buying turkeys from Hutterite colonies. When the colonies built their own plant three years ago, they no longer supplied Oak Valley with birds. Their plant - Dakota Provisionals - now employs 400-500 people.

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