Egg processing plant on way

By Sarah Meyer: CNJ staff writer

An egg-processing plant near Farwell will soon be operational.

The Mississippi-based Cal-Maine Foods plant began construction in September 2007, and recently had its first delivery of baby chicks, said Tim Dawson, vice president and chief financial officer.

The company hatches the chicks at its hatchery in Mendenhall, Miss., then ships them to the Farwell plant at one day old. They will grow up in pullet houses, and by about 18 weeks of age are placed in layer houses to begin laying eggs, Dawson explained.

The plant should be operational by June, and completely populated with birds by Jan. 1, 2010, he said.

When fully operational, the plant will have nine laying houses, with 1.5 million hens producing 1 million eggs per day.

Cal-Maine Foods produces eggs for Egg-Land’s Best and Farmhouse, according to its Web site.

The company chose the Farwell location to replace its Albuquerque plant because Farwell is between two of its major markets, Albuquerque and Lubbock, Dawson said previously.

The plant will employ approximately 60 people.

About six truckloads of feed and supplies will be delivered to the plant daily, and about four truckloads of eggs will be shipped out daily, Dawson said.

The chickens produce eggs for about two years, after which they will be shipped to a light fowl processing plant.

Parmer County commissioners approved a five-year tax abatement in 2007 for the company to build its $25 million to $30 million plant northeast of Farwell, according to Parmer County Commissioner Michael Haseloff.