Mountaire Farms plans to build a new feed mill operation that calls for bringing 65 new jobs to Scotland County. The integrated poultry processing company plans to invest nearly $44 million at a site near Laurinburg over the next three years.

“These new, good-paying jobs mean better opportunities for hard-working people and their communities in Scotland County,” said Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press release.

Wages will vary by position, but the average compensation for the new Scotland County positions will be $51,408 per year. The county’s average annual wage is approximately $34,037. The jobs will include machine operators, maintenance specialists, drivers, and management personnel.

“We believe North Carolina is the ideal place for Mountaire Farms to grow,” said Paul Downes, president and chief executive officer of Mountaire Farms.
News of the feed mill comes seven months after the company announced plans to acquire, renovate and reopen the former Townsend poultry processing plant in Siler City, an operation that employed more than 500 people in Chatham County before it was shut down in 2011. Mountaire Farms plans to employ more than 500 at its new Siler City plant.

The state Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina were instrumental in the company’s Scotland County project. “Mountaire Farms is a prominent name in North Carolina food manufacturing and its latest expansion reinforces the state’s $5 billion poultry industry,” state Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland said.

Founded in 1914, Mountaire Farms is a fully integrated producer of branded and private-label chicken for U.S. and international consumer markets. The Delaware-based company has production operations in four states. In North Carolina, Mountaire Farms employs nearly 2,700 people across seven locations.

The Mountaire Farms feed mill project will also provide growth opportunities for local chicken producers and grain suppliers. Mountaire supports the poultry growing community and is a major purchaser of commodity grains including corn, soybeans, wheat, and barley.

Mountaire Farms’ Scotland County expansion was made possible in part by a performance-based grant of up to $200,000 from the One North Carolina Fund. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance in support of local governments in creating jobs and attracting economic investment. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for grant funds. All One NC grants require a local government match.

In addition to North Carolina Commerce and the EDPNC, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Community College System, the NC Railroad Company, Scotland County, the Laurinburg Maxton Airport Commission, the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation and North Carolina’s Southeast Regional Partnership.