House of Raeford closing poultry plant, cutting hundreds of jobs - WNCN: News, Weather

House of Raeford closing poultry plant, cutting hundreds of jobs

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ROSE HILL, N.C. -

The House of Raeford announced Thursday it's getting out of the turkey production business and closing its slaughter plant Raeford.

The action will affect 950 workers at the company's Raeford plant in the next four to six months.

Jasmia Simmons, a House of Raeford employee and mother of two, said, "Tomorrow will be my first year here. So, now I have to go back through the same process of finding a job."

In a news release the House of Raeford said workers will be offered severance packages, job placement counseling and retraining. They'll also be offered the chance to get jobs at Raeford operations in the surrounding area.

The company said it's now going to focus on its chicken producing and fully cooked turkey businesses. It said it's now one of the top ten chicken producers and processors in the nation.

"We intend to further expand the chicken business over the next two to three years so that our increased chicken volume will replace the turkey production we are phasing out," said Bob Johnson, CEO of House of Raeford.

The company blamed higher feed prices for corn and flat to decreasing demand for turkey for the decision to close its turkey operations. It said it will work with turkey growers to change over to turkey production.

The House of Raeford will also close a turkey hatchery in Rose Hill where 30 people are now working. Those workers will be offered jobs at other company facilities in the surrounding area, according to the news release.

Edward Grier, a Raeford resident and customer, reacted to the news saying,"Man, it will be so many people put out of work. It will be so many people."

"We are already a poor county. We don't have much to go on and for a major company like House of Raeford to go down, I just think it would be a burden to the economy," said Grier.

"We're grateful to the employees and growers who have been an active part of our turkey operation and we are committed to helping each one of them during this transition," Johnson said.

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