Tyler Today April/May 2017 : Page 134

tylertoday business Chickens Coming Home to Roost The primary job of the Tyler Economic Development Council is to attract businesses to our area. “Many people are not aware of how long the process is to get a commitment from a company. There are many factors these companies must consider before a decision to locate a new facility can be made,” says Tom Mullins, President and CEO of the TEDC. “Among the considerations is the availability of raw materials, labor force, transportation facilities and so forth. The TEDC frequently offers various inducement incentives to help sway relocation decisions in our favor. This includes everything from providing tax abatements to employee training and infrastructure grants. From our first meeting until the public announcement, this project took fourteen months to complete.” On the morning of March 20, 2017, officials from Smith and Wood Counties, along with the cities of Tyler, Lindale, Winona and Mineola, held a news conference at the Smith County Commissioners Court to announce that Sanderson Farms, Inc., has tentatively selected sites located in Smith and Wood Counties, Texas, for construction of a new feed mill, hatchery, poultry processing plant and waste water treatment facility. Sanderson Farms expects to invest approximately $200 million to build a state-of-the-art poultry complex. At full capacity, the project will employ approximately 1,700 people. In addition, it will require eighty contract growers who are expected to invest another $135 million in poultry production facilities. Specific sites have not yet been announced, as real estate negotiations are in progress; however, Smith County 134 APRIL / MAY 201 7 THE TEDC REPORT Sanderson Farms to invest $200 Million; May Create1700 New Jobs by Robert Marlin Judge Nathaniel Moran said a likely processing site will be located in the Winona area in northeast Smith County, near Interstate 20 and Farm-to-Market Road 2015; a likely hatchery site will be on Interstate 20 near Lindale; and a rail site near Mineola on U.S. Highway 80. Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sanderson Farms, issued a statement regarding the selection of these sites, stating the company followed a thorough due diligence process. “We are grateful for the cooperation from the economic development and governmental officials in Tyler, Mineola and Lindale, Texas; Wood and Smith Counties; and the State of Texas,” said Sanderson. “We believe this expansion will enhance our ability to drive revenues and earnings and allow us to continue our record of building long-term value for our shareholders.” Sanderson Farms is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh, frozen and minimally prepared chicken. The company was founded in 1947 in Laurel, Mississippi and now has more than 13,000 employees and yearly revenues of $2.8 billion. Its shares trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol SAFM. According to Tom Mullins, “The economic impact during the first ten years of operation will be $1.4 billion – that’s Billion with a ‘B’ – which is made possible through an incentive package that includes tax abatements and other incentives totaling between $18 and $19 million.” Mullins gives credit for Sanderson’s decision to locate in the Tyler area to the success of John Soules Foods, which is one

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