Farbest Foods has announced plans to update its facility in Huntingburg.
Farbest Foods approached the Huntingburg City Council about their latest expansion and renovation process Tuesday evening.
President of Farbest Foods, Ted Seger, and Chief Financial Officer Jarod Morrison sought the council’s support in the approval of Economic Development Bonds for the project.
Since 2016, Farbest has been renovating and modernizing their Huntingburg facility, having spent 46.7 million in capital.
The latest development is estimated to cost 32.5 million to complete and further expand automation, along with adding a 22,000 square foot addition on the west side of the current facility.
Much of the focus of the project is improving yields for breast meat, wing meat, and white trimmings. Modernization of the plant will provide added benefits to safety and help retain 640 jobs.
However, with automation also comes a reduced size in labor, with 22 fewer jobs.
The council introduced an ordinance authorizing the issuance of taxable economic development bonds for the project, the first step in the process.
The next step is a public hearing before the Huntingburg Economic Development Commission on August 17th, which will decide if the project qualifies for the bonds.
If approved, the city council will then have to pass the final approval of the bonds. The bonds themselves will be financially back by funds from the 400 west TIF District. Farbest Foods has agreed to an 11-12 year payback schedule for the bonds.
City Attorney Phil Schnieder stated that these bonds will not extend the current 400 West TIF District, which is scheduled to end in 2034.
Provided everything is approved, Farbest anticipates beginning construction in September, with the goal to have the new expansion in operation by September 2022.
Seger noted when complete Farbest will have two of the most automated and modern Turkey processing plants in the country.