Land O’Lakes subsidiary announces deal for Decoster farms

Posted Nov. 08, 2011, at 4:41 p.m.

TURNER, Maine — A Land O’Lakes subsidiary has agreed to a long term lease-purchase deal for at egg farm operations in Turner, Leeds and Winthrop — including the former Decoster egg farm.

Moark LLC, a subsidiary of the national egg and dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes, announced the deal for the assets of Quality Egg of New England LLC, Dorothy Egg Farm LLC and Mountain Hollow Farms LLC on Tuesday.

According to a Land O’Lakes press release, Moark will be the sole operator of the egg production, processing and warehousing operations at the farms.

According to the release, Moark will have the option of purchasing the facilities after 10 years. Lease or sale prices and other financial details were not released. The transaction has not closed yet, according to the release.

Moark is a major marketer, distributor, processor and producer of fresh shell eggs and egg products. The company was formed as joint project of Land O’Lakes and a Midwestern feed company in 2000. Land O’Lakes acquired 100 percent ownership of Moark in 2006.

Moark operates egg farms in California, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio and Massachusetts.

According to the company’s release, the move into Maine’s egg farms will lead to better distribution for the company in the Northeast.

“It complements our existing operations by adding approximately 3.6 million [egg laying hens], and it provides greater access to a growing market for eggs,” said company president Craig Willardson in the release. “This will benefit our customers, the Maine-based employees, and the Maine economy.”

The company plans to use the majority of the work force at each facility, according to the release. The company also plans to institute robust safety and quality assurance standards, according to the release.

“Nothing is more important to us than the quality of our products and the safety and reliability of our operations,” Willardson said in the release.

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