By Greg Hilburn, USA Today Network
FARMERVILLE -- Foster Farms, one of the largest private employers in northern Louisiana, will invest $30 million to upgrade its Farmerville poultry processing plant, Gov. John Bel Edwards and the company announced Wednesday.
Edwards and Foster Farms President Laura Flanagan said the investment will preserve 1,092 existing jobs and create 50 new direct jobs and another 42 indirect jobs.
The state saved the plant in 2009 when previous owner Pilgrim's Pride announced its permanent closing.
But then-Gov. Bobby Jindal came up with $40 million in state funding to help Foster Farms buy the plant.
Today the local annual payroll is about $35 million dollars. More than 100 growers also serve the facility.
“Foster Farms’ facility in Union Parish has generated much-need employment opportunities for our people,” Edwards said. “The company’s commitment to the area and reinvestment in the Farmerville poultry operations is a testament not only to the Louisiana workforce in the region, but to the company’s vision for future success in our state.
"As Foster Farms grows its presence in Louisiana, many families will benefit, including the extended network of poultry farmers who supply this important plant.”