Iowa Poultry Processing Expands

Posted on 06/01/2011 at 12:00 AM by Christa Hartsook

Livestock farmers raising poultry have been vocal about a lack of processing for poultry in recent years. However, an Iowa plant that closed in January 2011 is set to re-open under new ownership.

A U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved a $2.27 million bid for a poultry plant in Charles City, Iowa, according to a report by the Mason City Globe Gazette.

Chicago-based Charles Austin Ltd. and associated but separate C-Go International, were successful in their bid for the former Bushman Family Farms plant. Plans call for the plant to reopen by Sept. 1, with plans to first hire 100 workers and add as many as 50 more by the end of the year. The company also plans to add a second shift in 2012, increasing the work force to 250, the Gazette reported.

The plant initially will process whole chickens and later do further processing and expand into the kosher meat market, the report quotes Charles Austin consultant Jerry Hegtvedt as saying.

The plant opened in late 2010, employing up to 125 people, before closing its doors in January after its creditors filed an involuntary petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy against the company.

Custom Poultry then requested to reorganize under Chapter 11 protection, which a judge granted.