Sanderson Farms — Waco, Texas

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When Sanderson Farms, Inc. announced it intended to bring a poultry processing plant to Waco, Texas, news accounts emphasized not only the building of the business and the local economy, but also the building of strong families. This theme was reinforced by the company’s history as well as the company’s reputation as an employer.

Sanderson Farms Inc. dates back to 1947 when it began as a farm supply business operated by D.R. Sanderson Sr. and his two sons, D.R. Sanderson Jr. and Joe Frank Sanderson. Poultry production was added to the business, and then in 1955 the company was incorporated. Today, under the guidance of CEO Joe Sanderson Jr., it is a top-quality chicken producer.

Sanderson Farms’ 10-year history in Texas has gained the company the respect of state officials for its impeccable business practices. “They are obviously a very responsible employer. Their business practices are very reflective of Waco’s values and our interest in providing jobs to support healthy families,” said Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy. “This will include such a good number of entry-level jobs as well as higher paying jobs for people in a variety of disciplines.”

Sanderson Farms will build a 170,000-square-foot, $50.5 million poultry processing plant and a 65,000-square-foot, $11.5 million hatchery. The company will bring 1,300 jobs to Waco when this complex is at full capacity, making it the single largest job-creation project in Waco’s history. Groundbreaking for the facility is slated for the spring with operations expected to begin May 2007.

Texas helped secure this company’s move to Waco with a $500,000 commitment from the Texas Enterprise Fund. Other incentives included an eight-year tax abatement provided by the City of Waco and McLennan County. Infrastructure extensions to serve the two industrial sites were designed and built by the Waco Industrial Foundation. Also, Sanderson Farms was designated an Enterprise Zone project and qualifies for refunds of state sales and use taxes.

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