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Scott processor invests $35 million, adds 200 jobs

Jack Weatherly

Koch Foods Inc. announced on Wednesday a $35 million expansion of its Morton and Forest poultry processing plants.

About 200 jobs will be created, roughly 180 at the Morton operation, on which the company will spend $33 million, Koch Foods said in a news release.

 Park Ridge, Ill.-based Koch (pronounced cook) employs about 3,200 in Scott County, and 14,000 companywide.

The private company has renovated the Forest facility and is in the process of adding 32,000 square feet at the Morton location

Gov. Bryant said in the release that I appreciate the team at Koch Foods for choosing to expand its operations in Forest and Morton and for creating hundreds of new jobs.”

Chief Operating Officer Mark Kaminsky said: Koch is very pleased to be a part of Scott County and Mississippi, and will continue our pursuit of excellence here in the years to come.”

Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance for road improvements.

The MDA says it provided $460,000 in community development block grant funds for the Forest project and $1,013,752 for Morton. Both grants are for road improvements.

The cities of Forest and Morton contributed a matching amount of roughly 10 percent of the MDA grants, said Rusty McMillan, executive director of the six-county Mid-Mississippi Development District.

Scott County was tied with DeSoto County for third-lowest unemployment in September, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Rankin’s joblessness rate was 3.7 percent, the lowest in the state, followed by Madison County at 4.2 percent. The state rate was 6.1 percent in September.

 Koch Foods distributes fresh and frozen products internationally under the Koch Foods, Antioch Farms, Preferred Foods and Rogers Royal brand names, as well as other custom and private labels.

Koch’s sales in 2013 were $3 billion, making it the 163rd largest private company in the United States at the time, according to Forbes.com.



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