Conveyer belts are rolling along at the new Sanderson Farms plant in Moultrie, bringing smiles to many local faces.
Darrell Moore, President of the Colquitt Development Authority, says, "It's a big prospect for Colquitt County and the state of Georgia, and we're really excited to have them here. It's a quality company. We couldn't have picked anybody better."
Monday marks the first day of production at the chicken processing plant. Sanderson Farms will bring a wealth of jobs to south Georgia, and one company spokesperson described the area as an ideal location.
Bob Billingsley of Sanderson Farms says, "Today was a day we've all anticipated now for a year, being able to get in production and calling ourselves a Georgia-based company."
"Though the new Sanderson Farms plant is located in Moultrie, local development leaders say the plant's economic impact will reach far beyond the city limits.
Moore says, "You got Tift County, Thomas County, Lowndes County, Dougherty, Cook, Mitchell County, Brooks. Like I said, about a 30-mile radius, so probably about 10 or 12 counties that will be directly impacted."
The Moultrie plant, along with a hatchery and feed mill in Cook County, are all part of a $96 million investment made by the company.
With 400 employees on staff Monday, a Sanderson Farms spokesperson says the plant staff will reach full capacity in about eight to 10 months when all 1,700 employees are on board.
The Colquitt Development Authority says Sanderson Farms is the largest employer to move to Georgia during Gov. Sonny Perdue's tenure.