A new turkey hatchery at the northeast edge of Beresford will provide a closer source of poults for turkey farms in South Dakota and throughout the Midwest.
Hendrix Genetics, an animal breeding company, plans to begin operations at the $25 million hatchery in November. The facility will have a capacity to hatch 30 million turkey eggs annually–more than half a million each week. The 80,000-square-foot facility sits on 15 acres along Lincoln County Highway 117. Eggs will be transported to the facility, then incubated for 28 days. Turkeys will be transported to farms throughout the Midwest and Canada the day they hatch.
With the addition of this new facility, turkeys will now be hatched, fed and processed in South Dakota.
An estimated 4.2 million turkeys are being raised in the state this year, 2 percent more than last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Dakota Provisions, a turkey-processing plant near Huron, processes 200 million pounds of turkeys annually, producing 60 million pounds of turkey meat.
The hatchery is likely to have numerous customers in South Dakota, including Hutterite colonies that raise turkeys. Ruben Waldner of Riverside Colony near Huron is excited to have a hatchery in the state and plans to buy all of his poults from there.
“Absolutely. I locked in to get 100 percent of our poults from them for three years,” Waldner said. “The biggest part is it’s a state-of-art hatchery. Eggs will come from in-state breeders and we’ll get better quality poults out of there. It’s a plus-plus-plus for us.”
The Beresford hatchery is also about 40 miles closer than Willmar, Minn., where Riverside currently buys its turkeys. Riverside raises 140,000 to 145,000 turkeys a year. They place poults in a brooder house for 28 days, then move them to grow-out barns for 140-145 days. Then, they haul them to the Dakota Provisions processing plant about eight miles away.
Dave Libertini, Hendrix Genetics vice president of Americas, said the hatchery will allow the company to provide quality genetics that meet the needs of the market and customers. It will be part of a network of Hybrid brand hatcheries, including facilities in Nebraska and Kansas.
“This is a critical component of our plan to modernize the commercial turkey distribution infrastructure in the USA,” Libertini said.
Hendrix Genetics is a global company based in the Netherlands. It engages in layer, hybrid turkey, pig, aquaculture and traditional poultry breeding activities. It is a leading breeder and distributor of turkeys under the Hybrid brand. Company-owned and contract farms in South Dakota and surrounding states will provide eggs for incubation at this hatchery.
Lincoln County Commissioner Jim Schmidt said ag-related businesses like this add to the county’s tax base and boost the overall ag economy. Because Lincoln is a rapidly growing county, Schmidt said there have been growing tensions between livestock producers who propose projects and people who are concerned about odors. For this particular project, developers proceeded with a great deal of caution and were open and upfront with the public, he said.
Growth in animal feeding operations also provides an avenue for increased grain use for feed.
To meet the needs of the facility, Beresford extended water and sewer lines to the location.
In addition to this commercial hatchery, Hendrix Genetics completed construction of a new parent stock hatchery in Nebraska and began construction on multiple new farms to supply the two hatcheries.
In announcing the hatchery project last year, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said the company was attracted to South Dakota because of low taxes, a low-cost environment, reasonable regulations and a hardworking workforce. Beresford’s proximity to Interstate 29 was a factor in its selection.
“South Dakota is consistently recognized as a top state in the nation to do business. Hendrix Genetics made the right decision to expand to our state,” Daugaard said. “They’ll find a skilled and productive workforce in the Beresford region.”