Jennie O
The Hormel Foods unit will invest $135 million in the project.
WILLMAR, Minn. – Work on a new Jennie-O Turkey Store processing plant begins this month in Melrose, Minnesota.

The subsidiary of Austin, Minnesota-based Hormel Foods said more than $137 million will be invested in state-of-the-art processing equipment that will enable the company to increase production capabilities and enhance plant efficiency and the company’s animal handling practices.

The new plant will replace an existing company plant in Melrose, however the current plant will remain in operation during the construction process.

“This investment shows the company’s commitment to provide the best processing experience for our growers and to meet our customer needs,” Glenn Leitch, president at Jennie-O Turkey Store, said in a statement. “The new equipment will enhance our animal handling practices and the increased automation will improve people safety.”

The company expects the new facility to be completed by early 2019. The existing plant will be partially torn down, and the remaining structure will be used for further value-added products.