GREELEY, Colo. – The state of Kentucky approved a $24 million expansion of a Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. poultry processing facility in Mayfield, Kentucky.

Construction on the expansion is set to begin Oct. 12. Pilgrim’s plans to remove or relocate existing processing equipment, then install new equipment that will transform the fresh foodservice and deboning operation into a debone portioning facility by July 2017. Once completed, live weight production at the Mayfield Complex will jump by about 1 million lbs. of poultry per week. The plant expansion is part of the company’s $190 million capital investment plan.

“We’re excited about the opportunities the Mayfield expansion will provide to our customers and the local community,” Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s CEO, said in a statement. “This investment is a key part of our recently announced cash flow reinvestment plan to provide key customers with opportunities to accelerate sales and grow their businesses with a trusted partner.”

The Mayfield complex became the first poultry processing plant in Kentucky when it opened in 1990. Expansion of the plant will add more than 155 jobs and will provide for construction of 75 additional chicken houses by local family farms.

“Pilgrim’s, a strong corporate partner in Kentucky since 1990, has grown its business across the globe and has become a well-respected household name,” said Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin. “We are thankful for the company’s reinvestment in Graves County. It will have tremendous impact on southwest Kentucky through new jobs, additional production and increased sales for area growers, farmers and feed suppliers. We are working every day to make the Commonwealth even more supportive of developments like this, and are grateful to Pilgrim’s for leading the way for others to follow.”