New premium chicken integrator, Pure Prairie Farms Inc., completed the purchase of the former Simply Essentials chicken processing plant in Charles City, Iowa. 

The facility, which previously closed in August of 2019, is a state-of-the-art retail tray-packaging facility and features air-chill technology. In addition to organic offerings, additional product features include all natural, highly trimmed products, made from chicken flocks in which antibiotics have never, been used, and that have been fed a vegetable- and grain-based diet.  

"Everyone that's come together in this effort has a passion for the chicken business," said Brian Roelofs, Pure Prairie Farms' president and chief executive officer. "It's been a long journey, and we are excited to bring this state-of-the-art plant back to life. Not only for everyone involved, but for the greater community of Charles City. It's now the place we call home," Roelofs added.

According to Roelofs, Pure Prairie Farms represents the cooperative efforts of local farm partners, investors, and executives who bring bench strength in Midwestern poultry and a deeply committed team. The company's ownership make-up includes the executive group and farm partners, alike.

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"Through the entire process, which has been years in the making, we've remained steadfast in our commitment to growers as partners. We look forward to building an even stronger team as we work together, as one, to offer unmatched chicken experiences and value for one another," Roelofs said.

Along with Roelofs, executive positions include poultry industry veterans of former Minnesota-based GNP Company, before it was purchased by Pilgrim's Pride in January 2017. These include Brad Vokac, vice president of sales and marketing, and Eva Wiechmann Miller, vice president of supply chain for Pure Prairie Farms. George Peichel, chief financial officer, and Anita Janssen, vice president of strategic initiatives, round out the company's top leadership, both having previously held executive positions with former Iowa-based chicken company, Prairie's Best Farms.  

"Our intent is to become an employer of choice and for Pure Prairie Farms to share its prosperity with the greater Charles City community. Through the experience of our team and appreciation for people, we are 100 percent committed to further building relationships through stewardship, integrity, cooperation, and excellence, together," Roelofs concluded. 

Pure Prairie Farm's premium quality chicken products, for all segments, will initially focus distribution efforts in the upper Midwest. Through immediate improvements made, Roelofs expects the integrated system, including the Charles City facility, to become fully operational by spring of 2022.