Sanderson Farms

A $96 million business expansion is on its way to south Georgia, helping create an estimated 1,700 jobs in the next few years. It’s all because of a Mississippi poultry company that has decided to bring more chicken production to our area.

It could certainly be a record for the Peach State, which hasn't seen this many jobs created by a singe company expansion many years.

Sanderson Farms has decided to expand its poultry production business into south Georgia. The expansion into Colquitt and Cook Counties will also create an estimated 1,700 new jobs.

Bud West of Sanderson Farms says, "We plan on building a complete poultry production complex, which consists of hatchers, a feed mill and processing plant at an investment of approximately $96 million."

Sanderson Farms' expansion is great news for those farmers who've been looking to diversify some of their business, but local economic experts say it’s not only good news for the farmers, but for the established businesses who can capitalize on the growing number of jobs that will be coming with the Sanderson expansion.

Jimmy Jeter of the Colquitt Development Authority says, "Certainly the tire dealers will sell more tires, the car dealers will sell more cars, the grocery stores will sell more groceries and land values I expect, will go up as a result of all the money that will be circulating Colquitt county."

Now that the deal to expand into south Georgia has been completed, Sanderson officials are looking for farmers who are interested in the chicken growing business. The 1,700 new jobs is expected to command a payroll of at least $30 million a year, money that can make a big difference for south Georgia.

Company spokesmen say poultry farms fit in perfectly with other farming operations, and until now most of the poultry production in Georgia had been limited to the northern part of the state, so this area was ripe for the expansion.