Slaughter operations ceased on August 1 at a House of Raeford Farms turkey processing plant in Raeford, N.C. House of Raeford's closure plans, which also included phasing out of turkey growing and hatchery operations, were announced in March.

The exit from the commodity turkey business is part of House of Raeford's strategy to concentrate on expanding its cooked turkey and chicken product lines. House of Raeford will also focus more of its resources on increasing chicken production volumes, which accounts for 90 percent of House of Raeford's sales.

The closing House of Raeford Farms turkey processing plant has been part of the company's operation since 1975.

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"Providing the marketplace with quality turkey products was a lifelong passion of my father", said House of Raeford CEO Bob Johnson, son of House of Raeford founder Marvin Johnson. "Because our entire family has been involved in growing turkeys for so many years, leaving the commodity turkey business was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever made."

About 950 House of Raeford workers, many who have been employees for 20 years or more, have been affected. Some are being transferred to House of Raeford's cook plant, also located in Raeford, which currently employs about 400 people. Other employees will transfer to other company facilities in North Carolina and South Carolina. Johnson added that the company has been doing all it can to assist employees through the transition.

The closure of House of Raeford Farms turkey processing plant was delayed a few days. The company earlier announced it would close on July 27.