Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Greeley, Colo., received state approval for a $24 million expansion project at its Mayfield, Ky., poultry processing complex.

The project, which will begin on Oct. 12, includes the removal or relocation of existing processing equipment and the installation of new equipment to enable the facility to transition from a fresh foodservice and debone operation to a debone portioning operation by July 2017. The transition will enable the facility to process larger birds and provide greater efficiency and service to key customers. Upon completion of the project, the plant will increase its live weight production by about 1 million pounds per week. It will also provide more than 155 additional jobs and will provide for construction of 75 additional chicken houses by local family farms.

"We're excited about the opportunities the Mayfield expansion will provide to our customers and the local community," says Bill Lovette, chief executive officer. "This investment is a key part of our recently announced cash flow reinvestment plan to provide key customers with opportunities to accelerate sales and grow their businesses with a trusted partner."

Launched in 1990, the Mayfield complex is said to be the first poultry processing facility in the state of Kentucky.