Pilgrim’s Pride Mayfield complex damaged by storms

Two Pilgrim's Pride hatcheries and a feed mill were damaged by a tornado that swept through Mayfield, Kentucky.

Roy Graber Headshot
(Courtesy JBS)
(Courtesy JBS)

Pilgrim’s Pride is assessing damages to its facilities in the Mayfield, Kentucky, area following tornadoes that hit the area over the past weekend.

Pilgrim’s operates a poultry plant, two hatcheries and a feed mill in the Mayfield area. As of the afternoon of December 13, it appeared the hatcheries received the worst damage.

“One of our hatcheries was a total loss and one is significantly damaged, but expected to be operational in the spring of 2022,” Pilgrim’s Pride spokesperson Nikki Richardson said in an email to WATT Global Media. “We are utilizing other company hatcheries to ensure our growers in the Mayfield area are provided the chickens they need.”

The poultry plant was not “directly impacted” by the tornado, but it was taken offline after the storms struck. Richardson said the company expects it to be fully operation on December 15.

Pilgrim’s is still evaluating the damage to its feed mill.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those impacted by the storm,” Richardson said.

Pilgrim’s Mayfield employs more than 1,500 people and supports 235 family farmers and poultry growers in the area. 

Pilgrim’s pledges $1 million to recovery effort

Following the Mayfield tornado, Pilgrim’s announced a $1 million investment to assist with community recovery needs and support long-term rebuilding efforts resulting from the storm.
“We are humbled to contribute to the relief efforts in our hometown of Mayfield,” Kent Massey, Pilgrim’s Mayfield complex manager, stated in a press release. “The community has always supported us, and we are focused on helping with the efforts to rebuild during this critical time.”
Pilgrim’s will determine how funds will be spent as needs are identified, including potential partnerships with other organizations and local relief entities. The company will also provide assistance to its team members who were directly affected by the storm.
“We are extremely saddened by the loss of lives in our community,” said Fabio Sandri, Pilgrim’s CEO. “I and members of my senior team immediately traveled to Mayfield after the tornado. The devastation we have witnessed firsthand cannot be put into words. There is much work to be done, and our hope is that this investment will aid in critical relief efforts that will support the people of Mayfield.”
Since the storm took place, Pilgrim’s has been delivering food, water, fuel and essential supplies to Mayfield to support the community. The company has a hub set up in Mayfield for those who need assistance. 

Other agrifood industry losses to storm

Pilgrim’s Pride wasn’t the only agricultural enterprise to experience losses in the Mayfield area. Mayfield Grain Co., a grain handler, had roofs pulled off of parts of a storage system that holds 6 million bushels of grain in Mayfield.

Also receiving damages related to the storms was Tyson Foods. According to a press release from the company, storms on December 10 resulted in temporary power outages at some western Tennessee farms that supply Tyson Foods. The storms also damaged a small number of chicken houses in northern Tennessee that are part of Tyson Foods' Supply chain.

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