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Butterball To Revive Raeford Plant, Create Jobs

Butterball, Turkey

There was a time when Raeford, North Carolina was synonymous with the House of Raeford turkey processing company.  Now there's another big name turkey processor in town.

Butterball announced this week it’s buying the turkey "further" processing facility once owned by the House of Raeford.  The family-owned House of Raeford got out of the turkey business last year.

Kerry Doughty, Butterball president and CEO, said in a statement, the company will immediately begin a $30 million renovation of the 200,000 square foot facility that will be used for packaging raw turkey parts.  He said it will "enhance its production capacity to 200 million pounds annually."

The company says it will hire 200 people in the next 10 months and more than 360 workers over the next three years.  Butterball already employs 200 people in its hatchery operations in Raeford.

"Butterball is one of North Carolina's great success stories," said Governor Pat McCrory, in a statement. "The company is known all over the world for its products, and it is great to see it expand its presence here."

Butterball's largest production plant, the largest in the world, is in Mount Olive, NC.  Butterball acquired that facility in 2006.

"This is great news for the people of Hoke County," said Representative Garland Pierce, in a statement. "These new jobs will make a tremendous difference to our community."

Butterball, headquartered in Garner, is the largest turkey producer in the US.  The turkey processor operates six plants in North Carolina, Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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