House of Raeford Farms announced yesterday the sale of its Raeford, North Carolina-based turkey cooking plant, built in 1996, to Garner, North Carolina-based Butterball LLC. Butterball plans to hire 367 people at the 200,000-square-foot plant and invest $66.75 million in Raeford over the next three years.

“House of Raeford is pleased that another reputable North Carolina brand will be expanding operations in Raeford. This transaction will bring quality employment and business opportunities to the community through the continued operation of this facility. House of Raeford remains committed to and appreciates the support of the local community and its officials throughout this process,” said Bob Johnson, House of Raeford President and CEO in a statement.

“Another exciting aspect of this transaction is an agreement between both parties to grant long-term use of a large tract of land to the Sandhills Community College Hoke Center that will establish a more permanent location for athletic fields. We will be providing additional information on this agreement in the near future,” Johnson said.

“More than a year ago, we embarked on a strategy to grow our chicken production volume and further processed chicken product lines. The company announced the closing of the plant in October 2014 and ceased operations in December 2014 as part of our new strategic direction. Several parties expressed interest in purchasing the facility, however, we believe Butterball was the best fit. We will continue to expand our focus on and redeploy our assets for vertically integrated production of fresh, ready-to-cook, further processed and fully cooked chicken products.”