West Liberty Foods, LLC, West Liberty, Iowa, entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Crystal Lake Farms and Free Ranger, Decatur, Ark. This acquisition will include breeding stock and processing plant assets to allow West Liberty Foods to produce free-range, slow-growth chickens.

“The acquisition of Crystal Lake Farms and Free Ranger is another exciting step for West Liberty Foods,” says Ed Garrett, chief executive officer of West Liberty Foods. “This expansion of our business will allow us to meet the growing consumer demand for humanely grown, pasture-raised poultry.”

The Crystal Lake Farms broilers carry a Step 4 rating from the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), meaning the chickens are raised with pasture-centered, animal-welfare-friendly farming practices.

“I am excited about the transaction, and with West Liberty Foods and the manufacturing expertise they deliver,” says Blake Evans, president of Crystal Lake Farms. “The company will continue to innovate around the breed, feed and growing environment.”

West Liberty Foods was named Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ 2017 Refrigerated Foods Processor of the Year.