Simmons Prepared Foods on June 20 officially dedicated its new chicken processing facility in Benton County, Arkansas, building on its strong foundation in the region.
The project, which was announced in September 2017, will relocate the current facility in Decatur, Arkansas, approximately two miles away to the site between Gentry and Decatur. Scheduled to open in 2019, the new facility will provide high-quality fresh and frozen chicken products to retail and restaurant customers.
At the time Simmons Prepared Foods announced the plant plans, it stated that the plant would create 1,500 jobs and would have the capacity to sell about 850 million pounds of poultry meat annually.
“We are excited to dedicate the site of our new facility in Benton County and officially mark the start of construction and the opportunities this facility will bring to this area,” said Todd Simmons, CEO and vice chairman of Simmons Foods. “Benton County has been our home for nearly 70 years, and we are proud to build on that strong foundation and look forward to this new facility being a vital part of Benton County’s growth.”
During the dedication ceremony, Simmons Chaplain Nick Braschler provided a blessing for the new site, construction workers and current facility team members. In addition to representatives from Simmons, Mike Preston, executive director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and Benton County Judge Barry Moehring attended the dedication and spoke about the importance of the new facility to the region.
“Arkansas is a great place to do business, and we are pleased that Simmons Prepared Foods made the decision to invest in this community and our state. New jobs and additional opportunities will be available when the facility is in operation in 2019,” said Preston
As part of the event, company representatives and local officials unveiled four commemorative blocks created from materials that will be used in the building’s construction. Bricks were presented to the cities of Gentry and Decatur and to Benton County as a symbol of Simmons commitment to building on a strong foundation in each of these communities for years to come. The final block will remain at the site for team members and visitors to view.