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Jennie-O Turkey Store builds new plant in Melrose

MELROSE, Minn. — Jennie-O Turkey Store has begun construction on a new processing plant in Melrose.

State-of-the-art equipment, which will increase the production capabilities and efficiency of the plant, is part of the $137 million investment. The plant will also improve the company's animal handling process.

"This investment shows the company's commitment to providing the best processing experience for our growers and to meet our customer needs," said Glenn Leitch, president of Jennie-O Turkey Store, in a news release.

Increased automation will also improve the safety of workers, Leitch said.

The new plant, which is scheduled to be finished in early 2019, will replace an existing plant in Melrose. That plant will stay in operation while the new plant is under construction. When construction is finished, the older plant will be partially torn down and the remainder used for other value-added products.

"Jennie-O Turkey Store has had a long-standing relationship with the city of Melrose," Leitch said. "Melrose has been and will continue to be a great place for our company and our team to grow and prosper. We appreciate the support that the city of Melrose has shown us in getting this project off the ground."