West Liberty Foods intends to form a new subsidiary upon completion of its proposed acquisition of Crystal Lake Farms and Free Ranger. The new unit will operate under the name Liberty Free Range Poultry LLC, the company announced in a press release.

In late February, West Liberty Foods announced its pending acquisition of the assets of Crystal Lake Farms and Free Ranger, including both the breeding stock and processing plants. The deal is expected to close on or before April 28 and will mark West Liberty Foods’ entry into the free-range, slower-growth broiler market.

Gerald Lessard hired as Liberty Free Range Poultry president

Gerald Lessard | Photo by Alyssa Conway


Gerald Lessard, a former executive at West Liberty Foods, will be rejoining the company to serve as the president of the new subsidiary, overseeing its breeding, growing and processing operations.

Lessard served as West Liberty Foods’ chief operating officer (COO) from 2004 to 2016, before leaving to take the COO position at Salm Partners LLC in Denmark, Wisconsin.

“We are pleased to have Gerald Back as president of Liberty Free Range Poultry LLC,” stated Ed Garrett, CEO of West Liberty Foods. “Gerald brings over 28 years of knowledge and expertise to the poultry industry and will be an asset to the success of our new business.”