Business Profile: Case Farms

WINESBURG, Ohio — Case Farms is a fully integrated poultry farming and processing group of dedicated individuals comprised of over 2,000 employees and 400 contract growers that work together to produce consistent quality poultry products every time for every customer.

Quality commitment begins on the farm with genetics operation and continues through breeding facilities, hatcheries, broiler grow-out facilities, feed mills, processing plants and transportation.

Product lines include retail, food service, prepared foods and international export. There are more than 4,000 weekly internal quality checks throughout Case Farms.

Like most everyone in the country, one of Case Farm’s biggest issues in 2007, and most likely going forward, is that of increasing energy costs.

From providing a comfortable environment for the chickens in climate-controlled housing to hauling feed to transporting our finished product to the consumer, there is significant energy and fuel consumed.

In response, Case Farms has made design changes in contract grower housing to be more energy and electric efficient. The company is also evaluating ways to streamline operations and optimize efficiencies, utilize renewable bio-mass fuels for heat and implement new technologies to offset rising electric costs.

The company’s Ohio division had a busy year in 2007. Several changes and upgrades in the processing plant were implemented to allow for greater efficiencies and volumes. The hatchery began the first phase of its expansion in anticipation of increased production. Nearly 1.5 million square feet of new broiler, breeder, and pullet housing was constructed.

Case Farms is in a very aggressive growth trend right now. It is currently constructing a new feed mill in Massillon, Ohio, and continuing to expand the processing plant and hatchery while aggressively building new contract grower housing.

Case Farms anticipates purchasing more than 10 million bushel of corn from local farmers to supply the feed mill. Total capital expenditures for facilities and equipment to expand the operation will approach $30 million. New contract grower housing construction will be in excess of $90 million over the next few years.

Case Farms was founded by Thomas R. Shelton in December 1986. After gaining over 23 years of management experience in the poultry industry, Shelton realized his goal of owning a company by purchasing a small family-owned poultry operation in Ohio.

The company was called Case Egg & Poultry and included a processing plant in Winesburg, Ohio, a hatchery in Strasburg, Ohio and a food distribution facility in Akron, Ohio.

In its first year of operation, Case Farms processed 135,000 chickens per week, had 140 employees and produced 22 million pounds of poultry products.

Case Farm’s North Carolina division includes facilities in Morgantown, Goldsboro and Troutman.

Today, the company processes 1.8 million birds per week and produces in excess of 500 million pounds of fresh, partially cooked, and frozen-for-export poultry products.

Case Farms is located at 1818 County Road 160, Winesburg, OH 44690. House of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For information, call 330-359-7141, e-mail mkeefer@casefarms.com or visit www.casefarms.com.

Case Farms has partnered with over 400 independent growers that own in excess of 900 pullet, breeder, and broiler poultry houses in North Carolina and Ohio.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Case Farms grower, visit Case Farm’s Web site or call Mike Keefer at the number listed above.

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