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Louisiana Growers Receive Compensation Pay-Out

by 5m Editor
24 February 2011, at 7:30am

LOUISIANA, US - Northeastern Louisiana broiler growers whose operations were harmed by the temporary closure of Pilgrim's Pride's Farmerville chicken processing plant will share $11.2 million in federal payments to compensate for losses.

The News Star reports the statement from state Commissioner, Mike Strain, on 22 February.

He continued: ""We just got word that the checks were being processed and mailed (Tuesday). It should provide tremendous relief for many of these growers who were damaged."

The funding comes from the federal Poultry Growers Assistance Program managed by the US Department of Agriculture, he said.

Pilgrim's Pride announced the closure of the plant in March 2009. Foster Farms eventually bought and reopened the plant with the assistance of a $50 million state grant but many of the independent contract growers were almost ruined during the transition, and some have not been picked up by Foster Farms.

The $11 million will be shared by 175 growers with virtually all of them located in northeastern Louisiana, according to The News Star.

"It's a huge shot in the arm for them," said state Senator Mike Walsworth (R-West Monroe), who helped Governor Bobby Jindal secure legislative support to orchestrate the deal with Foster Farms. "Many of the growers who were picked up by Foster Farms still haven't fully recovered."

Mr Strain said any grower whose operation was interrupted at least one month is eligible to apply. He said 175 of 181 Louisiana growers who applied were approved for payments.

He added: "This money will literally help some of the growers make back due mortgage payments that will allow them to keep their homes. But they can use the money any way they want."