Officials in Benton County, Arkansas, are planning a public hearing to hear input on a proposed Simmons Foods poultry plant in the county.
The plans call for the plant to be built between the towns of Decatur and Gentry.
The Benton County Planning Department will hold a hearing on Simmons Foods’ plans on December 6, according to a report on Arkansas Online.
Simmons Foods in September announced its intent to build a new plant, which represents a $300 million investment. The company, at the time, said that the facility will produce fresh and frozen chicken products for retail and restaurant customers and will have the capacity to sell about 850 million pounds of poultry meat annually. The facility is expected to create about 1,500 new jobs.
According to Simmons Foods, the design of the plant will feature modern production facilities and contemporary office space, supported with leading environmental technologies.
The prospect of a new Simmons Foods poultry plant has been welcomed by state leaders, including Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Simmons’ existing operations in the Decatur, Arkansas, area include a feed mill, hatchery, propane business, business offices and a chicken processing facility, along with a dry pet food production facility operated by Simmons Pet Food. Some processing operations will transition from the existing facility to the proposed plant once construction is completed.
The company hopes that the proposed plant can be operational in 2019.
Simmons Foods, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, is the 18th largest broiler company in the United States, having produced 13.32 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2016.
The company is also active in the pet food industry. Simmons Pet Food is a leader in North America’s private label and contract manufacturing space, producing wet and dry pet food and treats. The company produces both premium and value-focused offerings, supplying top brands and retailers with various formats, including cans, pouches and cups.