MERCERSBURG — A Michigan egg producer broke ground today (June 13) for what could eventually become Franklin County’s largest egg-laying operation.
Herbruck Poultry Ranch’s top executives were on hand for the long-awaited groundbreaking, telling a local audience of elected officials, business representatives and members of the press they are excited about becoming a part of the community.
The $100 million project will be situated on a 335–acre Corner Road farm in Montgomery Township just outside Mercersburg.
Herbruck President Greg Herbruck said he and his brothers — Stephen and Herb – were committed to being good neighbors and doing what is right for the Mercersburg community.
All three of the brothers were on hand for the groundbreaking.
Phase 1 will house about a million hens
Four poultry barns are expected to be built during Phase 1 of the project. Initial contracts could be awarded sometime this summer.
The first phase – including an egg processing plant and manure pelletizing operation and storage building — could take several years to complete, however.
When fully built out, the facility will have eight barns to house over two million cage-free hens that will lay a billion eggs a year.
The new sustainable, cage-free egg-laying facility will use innovative technology that process hen litter into organic fertilizer on site.
Herbruck said that process will drastically reduce odor, eliminate flies and provide unidentifiable rich organic fertilizer.
Creating jobs, boosting economy
At full capacity, the $100 million project will create 190 new local jobs, according to a press release fact sheet provided by the company.
It will also include major improvements to Landis Drive to enhance truck routes and improve safety for the entire community. The company recently received a $319,576 Multimodal Transportation Fund grant for that project and will supplement it with company funds to complete the road reconstruction project.
Two years ago Herbrucks opened a cold-storage warehouse in Greene township near Chambersburg in anticipation of going forward with the poultry egg-laying project. It is currently used to store and distribute organic, cage-free eggs to retailers and food service businesses across the East Coast.
Herbruck’s is a fourth-generation egg producer based in Michigan with locations in Indiana and Pennsylvania. It was founded 61 years ago.