Zacky Farms to cease all operations in January 2019

California turkey company Zacky Farms is going out of business.

Roy Graber Headshot
Photo courtesy of Iowa Turkey Federation
Photo courtesy of Iowa Turkey Federation

California turkey company Zacky Farms is going out of business.

The company announced on its website on October 31 that it will be winding down its operations, and expects all operations to completely cease on January 19, 2019. Employees will be given a formal notification from the company concerning their individual employment status.

The announcement came shortly after employees of Zacky Farms received emails from company founder Lillian Zacky that stated: “After four generations and an enormous effort to keep the company in sync with the fast pace of changing times, we are no longer able to keep up with business as usual. We have put our best foot forward, but as we struggled in the current state of the industry conditions, it has been impossible for us to continue profitably.”

In that email, Zacky did not directly address the future existence of the company, but did say that employees would be sent notifications concerning their employment status.

Zacky Farms, in announcing it was ceasing operations, said it had been “diligently engaged in seeking business and capital,” but “those exhaustive efforts have been unsuccessful.”

“The company understands that this is a difficult time for everyone (employees, customers, vendors, the community). We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has worked by the company’s side all these years. Thank you for being a part of the Zacky family and allowing us to continue for four generations; without you it would not have been possible,” the Zacky Farms announcement read.

Zacky Farms exits the turkey industry just five months after it obtained a $25 million secured term loan from Great Rock Capital. The loan was obtained as a means to provide the company “with the capital needed to drive our continued growth as we remain focused on our commitment to bringing our customers the best quality of poultry one can buy,” Zacky and the company’s CEO, Tom Dahlen, jointly stated in a press release.

Zacky Farms has a history of financial struggles, as the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2012.

Zacky Farms processed 82.96 million pounds of live turkeys in 2017, making it the 18th largest turkey company in the United States. The business, headquartered in Fresno, California, has one slaughter plant, one processing plant and one hatchery, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database.

The company's turkey products are marketed under the Zacky Farms Natural, Tender Gold, Westerner, Californian, Sam's Ranch, Zacky Farms ABF, Zacky Farms Free Range, Zacky Farms Organic, LillianZ Ranch ABF, LillianZ Ranch Free Range and LillianZ Ranch Veg Fed labels.

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