The acquisition allows MPS Egg Farms to add approximately 1 million hens to its operation, for a total of 11 million hens – producing approximately 9.35 million eggs a day. The acquisition significantly enhances MPS Egg Farms’ geographic footprint, enabling the company to better serve existing and potential customers in Texas and beyond.
“We knew of Feather Crest Farms by reputation – they are solid and well-respected within the industry,” said Sam Krouse, vice president of business development for MPS Egg Farms. “MPS Egg Farms is a sixth-generation family-owned and operated company, so it was important that Feather Crest Farms share the same values and commitment to customer service and quality that we hold important.”
The Barrett family has been involved with Feather Crest since the 1950s, starting with Delvin Barrett, who began working there while a student at Texas A&M. The company was eventually purchased by the Barrett family in the 1970s. The Barretts continually improved and expanded the operations. Following Delvin’s death in 2001, his sons continued operation of the company until the MPS Egg Farms acquisition.
While there are no immediate expansion plans for the 70-year-old Texas-based farms, Dan Krouse, vice president of operations for MPS Egg Farms, said that remodeling existing facilities and expanding production are part of the long-term plan. For now, it’s business as usual.
“We hired everyone that was employed at Feather Crest Farms, a total of 96 people, which brings our total to about 630 employees nationally. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, transition of the farms is occurring electronically. Thankfully, no one from Indiana was planning to spend extended time in Texas because the expertise and strength of the Feather Crest team is already strong,” said Dan Krouse.
The farms will retain their local names. The Kurten operation will continue to be known as Feather Crest Farms and the Center operations will still be known as Pineywoods, but both farms will have MPS Egg Farms signs added. The products produced at the Texas facilities are private label.
Formerly known as Midwest Poultry Services, MPS Egg Farms changed its name in January.
According to the Egg Industry Top Companies listings, MPS was ranked as the eighth largest egg company in the United States in 2019 with 10.9 million hens, while Feather Crest was the 59th largest egg company in the country with 0.98 million hens.
Transaction conducted remotely
According to MPS Egg Farms, the process of acquiring Feather Crest had to be finalized remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Months of planning and a team of 12 that were intended to travel to Texas were reduced to zoom meetings, emails, and other forms of long-distance communication, as all was conducted remotely, including the rehiring of all 96 Feather Crest Farms employees, a company spokesperson said.
“Sam Krouse and Dan Krouse acknowledge that while the (coronavirus) situation is challenging for everyone, it’s been rewarding to think about how to best serve customers, keep employees safe and employed and feed the nation as they learn important lessons in business and life,” the company said.