SILOAM SPRINGS (KFSM) -- Simmons Foods plans to open a new facility in Benton County by 2019, bringing roughly 1,500 jobs to the area.
The Siloam Springs-based company announced Wednesday (Sept. 26) it will invest $300 million into a new facility between Decatur and Gentry that will produce fresh and frozen chicken for retail and restaurant customers.
"We are a family business and we plan to grow that way and stay that way," said Tod Simmons, CEO of Simmons Foods.
Officials expect the facility to produce roughly 850 million pounds of poultry meat annually. Simmons Foods plans to bring total employment up to 2,300 by 2022.
Benton County Judge Barry Moehring said he welcomed the new plant with open arms.
"The Simmons family has been a contributor to Northwest Arkansas," Moehring said. "We are absolutely thrilled about (the announcement)."
The county lost a major employer earlier this month, when the Del Monte Foods plant in Siloam Springs closed, shedding more than 230 jobs.