At the ribbon cutting ceremony for Butterball’s seventh facility, Butterball’s COO Joe Nalley discussed the extra $25 million investment the company put into the Raeford facility, potential future plans that would bring more jobs to the community and company involvement in community service. Below is a transcript of the speech:
“Frank Koekkoek told you a little about himself, but there’s always the rest of the story. Frank’s a second generation turkey guy. His dad, Frank Senior, runs Michigan Turkey operations, which is one of the more recognized turkey companies in the U.S. Actually, he used to work for Butterball, but anyway, he came down here to see Frank and his wife and his grandkids. Frank Sr. came down and toured the plant with Frank Jr., and he sent an email to Mike and I telling us how proud he was to be out at a plant his son was managing and having his son give him the tour. Frank, we’re proud of you too. Great job.
“We really appreciate being here. It’s obvious we’ve been wanted in this community, which is really important when you come into an area and invest money, time and resources. It was obvious when we announced in February that we were wanted, and I think this is clear evidence today that that is absolutely true. We really appreciate the fact that we are a valued member of this community, and we will work hard to earn that all along here.
“I think at the press conference we talked about, beside the purchase price and investing close to $30 million in this facility… well, as it is in your personal lives, it hard to stop spending money, so we didn’t quit there. Not so long ago, we decided we would locate three of our slicing lines. These will be lines that will produce the raw material and then we will slice various kinds of lunch meat items here in this plant, and that requires additional investment. So when we are all said and done on this first phase, we will have put close to $55 million into this facility.
“There are parts of the plant that are not completely finished, because we have plans for other things coming down the road. Not 100 percent sure what that may be. We’ve talked about burgers; we’ve talked about hot dogs and sausage. But believe me, as fast as we are growing, as much as we have got going on, we will figure out what to do there, so there will be more investment, which will mean more jobs and more partnering with the community as we go forward here.
“Many of you know we donated $1,000 to the Oak County Sheriff’s department, which we were very pleased to do. We were happy to be a sponsor in Raeford’s Turkey Festival. I mean, what a great place to have a plant in a place that has a turkey festival. That’s wonderful! We’ve had a float in the parade. I asked Frank if we won anything, and he said he didn’t think so.
“This is a good time to also announce that as we have done before as a company tradition, we will be donating 1,000 turkeys to the soldiers at Fort Bragg. We have a proud history of supporting our troops. We have veterans out here today, so anyone that has ever served in any branch of the armed forces, please stand up and let us recognize you. On behalf of Butterball, we want to thank all of you for your service and your sacrifice.”