Business feature: Egg farm may be nesting in Farwell

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

On the breakfast tables and in the diners of America, millions enjoy eggs every day. In a few years, the citizens of Farwell may be enjoying them a little bit more.

The Parmer County Commission recently gave a tax abatement to Cal-Maine Foods as incentive to construct a facility northeast of Farwell.

Tim Dawson, the vice president and chief financial officer for Cal-Maine, said the company is still mulling over the decision. If they go ahead, Dawson said the plan would include a facility with layer houses, pullet growing facilities, feed milling and an egg processing plant.

The initial investment would be $20 million with about 50 jobs, from company estimates. The proposed site is on private land about five miles northeast of Farwell.

“It’s great,” Parmer County Commissioner Michael Haseloff of Farwell said. “It will really help our taxes.”

With headquarters in Jackson, Miss., Cal-Maine is the country’s largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs.

“We were able to find in Farwell a good site, with ample water, appropriate roads and transportation services,” Dawson said. “The area also has access to feed grains from local production or brought in from other areas.”

Haseloff said Cal-Maine liked Farwell because of its location with respect to Albuquerque, Lubbock and El Paso.

“We look for an area that is convenient to our markets and has the things that we need for an agricultural production facility,” Dawson said. “We have been marketing fresh shell eggs in the New Mexico and west Texas area since 1979.”

Commissioner Kirk Frye said the company told the commission it would produce about 90,000 eggs per day. Frye felt the tax abatement was a good investment for a company with Cal-Maine’s track record.

“It looked like a good company,” Frye said, “and we needed some new business coming to Parmer County.”

If construction permits are approved, construction would begin in June and would be finished in about two years.

“We have an excellent reputation and record for operating these types of facilities in many other areas around the country,” Dawson said. “We look forward to completing the permitting process and making a final decision to begin construction in the very near future.”