The second-largest egg producer in the nation is to open a 2600-acre farm with 3 million egg-laying hens in La Paz County.
According to the La Paz Economic Development Corporation, Rose Acre Farms has entered into an agreement to purchase over 2,600 acres in rural La Paz County, AZ from Arizona Public Service (APS). It will be the company’s first operation in the state of Arizona.
La Paz EDC’s Vincent (Skip) Becker says the process has come full circle. “We are delighted that APS wanted to ensure this would be an excellent project for La Paz County and the surrounding communities,” he said. Becker added that the first phase of the project would add 80-100 jobs in the area, including “comprehensive employee benefits”. “Rose Acre Farms will invest more than $80,000,000 dollars to complete Phase One,” he added.
The project includes a 3 million bird layer farm, a pullet (young hen) farm, a rail spur (secondary branch rail track to join the existing rail infrastructure) and a feed milling operation. The facility will be located south of Bouse, AZ.
“Organizations like the Arizona & California Railroad truly make a difference in securing a project of this magnitude,” Becker said.
Rose Acre Farms began in the 1930s as a small family-owned operation with 2 hen houses, and has grown to become one of the leading egg producers in America with 17 existing facilities in 6 other states. The company produces a range of eggs including conventional, free-range, vegetarian, organic, ‘golden premium’ and ‘Christopher’ eggs. The Rust family, which started the business over 70 years ago, remains involved in the company’s day-to-day activities today.
The company cites strengthening the communities where they do business as a component of their business model, according to La Paz EDC. This often includes environmental, social and charitable projects.
APS Manager of Community Development David Bentler said the project would bring significant economic benefits to the local community and to Arizona. “APS is proud to work with the La Paz Economic Development Corporation to bring new jobs to the community, enhance economic development in the area and improve the long-term viability of La Paz County,” he said.
Becker said he and the Board of Directors and members of the La Paz EDC believe the project is economic development at its finest. “We would like to thank Rose Acre Farms, the Rust Family, Chips Everhart, Marcus Rust, APS, The Arizona & California Railroad, the Arizona Commerce Authority and the La Paz County Board of Supervisors for their support of this project.”