Laurel, Miss.-based Sanderson Farms, Inc., announced Jan. 12 that it has selected sites in Waco and McLennan County, Texas for construction of a new poultry processing plant and wastewater treatment facility and hatchery. These facilities will comprise a state-of-the-art poultry complex with the capacity to process 1.2 million birds per week for the big bird deboning market. At full capacity, the complex will employ approximately 1,300 people, will require 150 contract growers, and will be equipped to process and sell 8.4 million pounds per week of dressed poultry meat at full production.Sanderson Farms expects to invest approximately $70 million in the new Texas complex, and anticipates that associated contract growers will invest an additional $115 million in poultry production facilities. The Company expects to begin construction of the facilities this spring, with initial operation of the new complex scheduled to begin in May of 2007. Sanderson Farms will also expand its feed mill in Easterly, Texas, and use that feed milling capacity to satisfy the live production needs associated with the new complex.According to Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chief executive officer and chairman of Sanderson Farms, Inc., the selection of these sites followed a thorough and deliberate process that has been on-going for some time. "We are grateful for the cooperation we received from the economic development and governmental officials in the City of Waco, McLennan County and the State of Texas," said Sanderson. "We believe this expansion will enhance our ability to drive revenues and earnings, and allow us to continue our record of building value for our shareholders. The additional big bird capacity of 1.2 million birds per week represented by the new complex will also allow us to maintain the favorable mix we enjoy between the retail and big bird deboning markets. We began this project essentially debt free, and are pleased that our recent financial performance has put us in a position to continue to grow our Company."