A Missouri-based poultry company had some “egg-citing” news Tuesday after officials announced a plant will be built in Berryville.
Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney said Mid-States Specialty Eggs will be building its first Arkansas egg processing and distribution plant in Berryville.
The approximately 57,000 square feet facility will be built off Hailey Rd., and is a mirror image of the company’s modern egg processing plant in Missouri.
The plant processes and distributes around 100,000 dozen specialty eggs per day. Specialty eggs are eggs from chickens that are grown “on the floor” meaning no cages, and are fed with organic feed – certified non-genetically modified. A majority of the specialty eggs are shipped to California.
The plant will employ around 25 full-time employees and 15-20 part-time or contract employees. The company plans to begin construction sometime in August. The city plans to extend Primrose Rd. and the water and sewage to the company’s property line.
The business was started in Jan. 2009, by Dale Shrock and Marion Hostetler as a way of distributing the eggs their hens were producing.
Wanting to grow something more “organic,” they switched from growing turkeys to egg production in 2007. Their birds are certified as being humanely treated, which is important to Shrock and Hostetler. California has the most stringent regulations on specialty eggs, and MSSE “was compliant before the new California regulations came out,” Hostetler explained.
McKinney believes that the location of MSSE facility will spur additional opportunities for Carroll County farmers. Older chicken houses that are being phased out by new requirements can be used for the “on the floor” growing of chickens producing eggs for MSSE. “This should provide alternatives for our local farmers,” McKinney said.
“I was extremely impressed with Mid-States’ operations,” Chamber Executive Chris Claybaker said. “They are on the cutting-edge of technology, and they are setting the standard for this new phenomenal growth market of organic products,” he continued. “The extra benefit from these operations locating here is the opportunity it will create for local farmers.”