Lincoln Premium Poultry is in the final stages of securing contract farmers to raise chickens for processing at its plant under construction in Fremont, Nebraska, a spokeswoman for the company said.
The new poultry plant is being built to process chicken products exclusively for Costco Wholesale Corporation. Once fully operational, the facility should have the capacity to process about 2 million chickens a week and supply a third of the raw and rotisserie chicken products that will be sold at Costco stores across the United States.
Jessica Kolterman, community relations manager for Lincoln Premium Poultry, told the Fremont Tribune that the company will need about 125 farm families to build four poultry barns on their land to raise the chickens needed to support the plant. Each farm’s investment would be about $2 million.
Currently, about 80 families are going through the process of receiving permits that will allow them to build the barns, Kolterman said. Applicants must pass criterea set forth by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Siting Assessment Matrix, and meet several other specifications through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
In addition to building a poultry processing plant, the Lincoln Premium Poultry project includes the construction of a feed mill and hatchery. Kolterman earlier stated that the feed mill would be the first facility to be built, while the hatchery would be the last.
The company is expecting the construction of the complex to be completed by June 2019. Lincoln Premium Poultry had earlier hoped for a completion date of April 2019, but excessive precipitation in the Fremont area in the fall of 2017 made it difficult for construction workers to make much progress.
The Lincoln Premium Poultry plant will be equipped with technology from Marel Poultry. Marel, in a press release issued in August 2017, said the order to equip the plant is its largest to date.