Lincoln Premium Poultry and Costco on October 19 gathered with company and state leaders at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Costco poultry processing facility in Fremont, Nebraska.“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. When fully operational, the project will raise 2 million birds weekly to supply the plant.

The facility currently has about 600 employees, with many coming from within a 30-mile radius. Nearly 1,100 employees are expected when the plant is fully staffed, and approximately 100 growers will supply 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.” Shafer noted that a half million birds have already gone through the facility. “Without our farmers, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Governor 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.