A federal appeals court has upheld a $14.5 million judgment against an Arkansas poultry company in a lawsuit by Oklahoma poultry farmers. The Associated Press reports that a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver voted unanimously last week to reject the appeal by O.K. Industries of Fort Smith.

About 300 poultry farmers in southeastern Oklahoma filed the federal lawsuit in 2002, accusing the company of manipulating the price it paid them to grow chickens. The farmers were awarded $21.1 million after winning the lawsuit in 2008, but the amount was lowered to $14.5 million by the federal judge in the case.

Source: AP

Farmer John campaigns for bacon-wrapped hot dog

In the midst of election season, Farmer John has launched a campaign to make the bacon-wrapped hot dog the official hot dog of Los Angeles. The campaign includes a website (www.votelahotdog.org), Facebook, Twitter and YouTube page where Los Angelinos can cast their votes.

“New York has the Dirty Water Dog. Chicago has the Red Hot. Even Baltimore has the Half Smoke. It's high time L.A. got its own dog: The Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog,” the company says. “Born on the streets of East L.A., and sold by street vendors everywhere from Ktown to WeHo, from the Westside to downtown, those delicious Bacon Wrapped Dogs are as So-Cal as surf boards and peroxide.”

To help encourage voting, Farmer John is donating a pound of food to area food banks for every vote received. As of October 20, there have been more than 30,000 votes submitted.

Source: Farmer John

Matador Beef Jerky launches “Stick It” campaign

Matador Beef Jerky continues to grow its presence in the snack aisle with a new "Stick It" retail campaign. The new campaign invites meat stick lovers to experience the bold and spicy flavor of Matador snack sticks for themselves, with the belief that once they try Matador they'll never go back.

Jack Link's Beef Jerky, the No. 1 U.S. meat snack brand and fastest-growing meat snack manufacturer worldwide, launched the Matador brand in the spring of 2009 as a snack for those with an action-driven and social lifestyle. Backed by a tremendous early response to Matador, Jack Link's and Frito-Lay North America, a business unit of PepsiCo, formed an exclusive distribution partnership on the Matador line of snacks.

"Within one year, Matador Beef Jerky introduced three stick flavors and four jerky flavors, and expanded our distribution nationwide," said Mark Catlin, director of marketing, Matador Beef Jerky. "And in less than two short years, Matador has already earned its place as one of the top national meat snack brands."

Source: Matador Beef Jerky

Bob Evans looking for new CFO

Bob Evans Farms Inc. announced an organizational change in its senior management team. Chief Financial Officer Tod Spornhauer has decided to resign his position, effective Jan. 3, 2011. Spornhauer joined Bob Evans in 1991 and has held a variety of progressively responsible positions, most recently serving as chief financial officer since September 2009.

“After 19 years with Bob Evans, I've reached the point in my life where I want to do something different," Spornhauer said. "My first career in accounting and finance has been very rewarding and has provided me the opportunity to pursue a second career in teaching where I can give something back, in addition to spending more time with my family. I am grateful for the nearly two decades I've spent at Bob Evans, and I will do whatever I can to ensure an orderly transition as the company searches for my successor."

"We thank Tod for his dedication and his many contributions during his career at Bob Evans," Chairman and CEO Steve Davis said. "He has made many improvements to the financial reporting and corporate finance functions during his 19 years here, and our balance sheet and overall financial position are solid due in large part to his leadership and talent. We wish him all the best as he embarks upon the next stage of his life."

The company will conduct a national search for a new chief financial officer. After Jan. 3, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer Richard Green will serve as interim chief financial officer until the company identifies Spornhauer's full-time successor. Green joined Bob Evans in February.

Source: Bob Evans Farms Inc.

Carl's Jr. rolling out chicken tenders

Carl’s Jr. is introducing Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, which the company says provide customers with the kind of quality they would normally only be able to get at sit-down restaurants, if there.

The chicken tenders are made with all-white meat from chicken breasts, dipped in a buttermilk and egg batter, rolled in seasoned flour and then fried to a perfect golden brown. Preparation is done by hand in the kitchens of each restaurant throughout the day.
“We love to be able to give Carl’s Jr. customers a ‘wow’ experience, as in, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I can get something that good at a fast-food place,’” said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants. “We did that with the first sit-down restaurant quality burgers, The Six Dollar Burger, then we did it again with our Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Shakes & Malts, and now we’re doing it with chicken. In fact, we may have even surpassed the quality you can get in most sit-down restaurants, since they often use the same kind of partially-fried and frozen chicken strips that our fast food competitors do.”

The product began to roll out to Carl’s Jr. restaurants in September and is now available at most locations, with system-wide rollout scheduled to be completed early next month.

Source: CKE Restaurants