Some large and highly visible new poultry operations certainly make it appear that the industry is making a comeback in Stone County, and officials with the Farm Service Agency report a lot of new loans being guaranteed through their office in the last two years.
The new growth is not yet reflected in the number of operations registered with the Stone County Conservation District. However, Jeff Vanemburg, Batesville complex manager for Ozark Mountain Poultry, confirmed that his company alone has contracted with growers to build at least 30 houses in Stone County in the last two years.
The expansion, which began after OMP bought the former Pilgrim’s Pride facility in Batesville in 2013, is coming to an end, however, at least for OMP.
“Everything that’s gonna be built is started now,” Vanemburg said.
See the full story in the March 30 issue.