JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) _ Buoyed by the backing of an in-state agricultural program, a Perry County poulterer is expanding its processing facility in Petal, and in turn, its national exposure.
Nature’s Gourmet Farm was recently awarded funding through the Mississippi Land, Water and Timber Resources Program to update and expand its on-farm, poultry processing facility to comply with United States Department of Agriculture specifications.
“This investment will create additional new jobs in the poultry sector while growing Mississippi’s economy,” said Glenn McCullough Jr., Mississippi Development Authority executive director and co-chair of the Mississippi Land, Water and Timber Resources board.
“Agriculture is Mississippi’s largest industry, so the (MDA) is pleased to partner with (Mississippi’s Department of Agriculture and Commerce) to support new private capital.”
Nature’s Gourmet Farm began operations in 2010 to provide grass-fed beef to local customers and diversified in 2012 with the addition of pastured poultry.
The investment in the poultry operation will allow Nature’s Gourmet Farm to not only increase its capacity to process poultry; it will provide the farm the opportunity to enter into new markets such as retail stores and restaurants all over the country.
“I am proud that this program is investing in our small farmers,” said Andy Gipson, commissioner of agriculture and commerce and co-chair of the Mississippi Land, Water and Timber Resources board. “Through the development of this one-of-a-kind value-added processing facility, more consumers will be able to purchase Nature’s Gourmet Farm’s locally pasture-raised poultry.
“Additionally, as a USDA approved facility, Nature’s Gourmet Farm will expand its market opportunities nationwide for poultry processed right here on the farm in Mississippi.”
The Mississippi Land, Water and Timber Resources Program is a finance program developed to stimulate growth of the Mississippi agricultural industry by assisting the industry in the development, marketing, manufacture, production and distribution of agricultural products.