Sanderson Farms, Inc., Laurel, Miss., announced that a site located in St. Pauls and Robeson County, N.C., was selected for construction of a new hatchery, poultry processing plant and wastewater treatment facility. These facilities will comprise a state-of-the-art poultry complex with the capacity to process 1.25 million birds per week. At full capacity, the complex will employ approximately 1,100 people, will require 100 contract growers and will be equipped to process and sell approximately 500 million pounds of dressed poultry meat annually.

Sanderson Farms expects to invest approximately $139 million in the new North Carolina complex, which includes upgrades to its Kinston, N.C., feed mill, and anticipates that associated contract growers will invest an additional $168 million in poultry production facilities. The company expects to begin construction of the facilities this summer, with initial operations of the new complex to begin during the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016.

"We are grateful for the cooperation from the economic development and governmental officials in St. Pauls, Robeson County and the State of North Carolina," says Joe Sanderson, Jr., chairman and CEO."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. The additional capacity of 1.25 million birds per week represented by the new complex will provide new marketing opportunities for the company in the fresh foodservice market. We are pleased that our recent financial performance has put us in a position to continue to grow our company."