Peco Foods Eyes Poultry Plant & Feed Mill, 950 Jobs in Northeast Arkansas

Have you heard about some big economic development news incubating in northeast Arkansas?

Peco Foods Inc. of Tuscaloosa, Ala., is looking to build a $120 million poultry processing plant about two miles south of Pocahontas (Randolph County). A supporting hatchery and truck shop would add another $20 million to the investment along U.S. 67.

We’re told the processing plant could start running by January 2016 with more than 300 workers and that employment could reach 900 to 1,000 by year’s end.

This project also would entail construction of a supporting feed mill 31 miles to the northeast.

The would-be site for this $36 million facility is on the northern outskirts of Corning (Clay County), north of the old Hart’s Furniture plant.

The feed mill would open with 40 employees and expand to 50.

We understand Peco Foods has optioned about 200 acres in each of the two locales. The feed mill and hatchery would open in advance of the processing plant.

You might recall that Peco Foods first ventured into Arkansas in 2011.

That’s when the company bought most of the assets of Townsends Inc. of Georgetown, Del. The $51 million bankruptcy purchase of Townsends’ Arkansas operations included a processing plant in Batesville.