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Ribbon cutting held for Costco chicken plant (Gallery)

Over $450 million has been invested in the feed mill, hatchery and processing plant.

A momentous day for Lincoln Premium Poultry and Costco occurred Oct. 19, when company and state leaders gathered for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new, state-of-the-art Costco poultry processing facility in Fremont, Neb.

“Over four-and-a-half years ago, we started this journey, and the project has finally come to reality,” said Fremont mayor Scott Getzschman. “Over $450 million has been invested in the feed mill, the hatchery and the processing plant.”

Collectively, growers will invest another $350 million, he added.

Getzschman said the project is an “amazing feat and one that no one took lightly.”

When fully operational, the project will raise 2 million birds weekly to supply the plant.

Currently, the plant employs over 600 employed, with many coming from within a 30-mile radius. Nearly 1,100 employees are expected when the plant is fully staffed, and approximately 100 farm families will be supplying the plant.

“I’d like to thank the farmers that took a chance with us and invested,” said Walt Shafer, chief operating officer of Lincoln Premium Poultry. “Our grower list is full. We’re actually processing birds from our first farmers, and we’re getting eggs from our first farmers.”

He noted that a half million birds have already gone through the facility. “Without our farmers, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Getzschman said. an economic project like the plant “doesn’t just happen.”

“There were a lot of obstacles, but we never gave up.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts attended the event, congratulating the companies and community on the historic moment.

“This facility will use 341,000 bushels of corn and 3,000 metric tons of soybean meal every week. That’s 2,000 acres of corn and 2,000 acres of beans every week. Think what that means for our local farmers,” Ricketts said.

Further, Ricketts said the projected is expected to have an over $1 billion impact on the state of the Nebraska.

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