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Governor Tries to Broker Pilgrim's Plant Deal

by 5m Editor
12 March 2009, at 12:34p.m.

US - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal recently travelled to Farmerville to meet with local and area officials as well as Pilgrim’s Pride representatives following the company’s announcement to temporarily close their processing plant due to difficult market conditions in the poultry industry.

The Governor was joined by Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret and Workforce Commission Executive Director Tim Barfield. Following the meeting, the Governor held a press conference where he emphasized that the state is taking immediate steps to help the Farmerville community.

According to reports following this meeting and subsequent negotiations, the Governor has attempted to broker a deal where poultry company Foster Farms would buy out the Farmville plant.

Reports in Meatingplace put this deal at $40 million, but it is said to have been rejected by Pilgrim's Pride as being too low.

Governor Jindal said following his meeting with representatives at the plant: "We know the national economic downturn is continuing to affect our state – and seep into local communities…like here in Farmerville. But know this: We are a strong people.

"We may be down, but we are not out. We will pull through this challenge just as we have past challenges. We’re in this together and the state is taking aggressive action to help everyone in this community."

The Governor has also called Pilgrim’s Pride CEO and President Don Jackson to make a last-minute appeal on behalf of the state to keep the processing plant open.

Since last year, the state has been in close contact with Pilgrim’s Pride to offer assistance with the goal of securing the long-term viability of their operations. Despite repeated offers however, Pilgrim’s Pride said tough market conditions in the poultry industry forced them to indefinitely close the Farmerville plant.