Local, state and federal reps host Coffee Co. forum - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Local, state and federal reps host Coffee Co. forum

By Kimberly Page - bio | email

COFFEE COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Coffee County is bracing for a devastating economic blow.

As we first told you last week, Pilgrim's Pride is closing a chicken processing plant that employs 900 people.  But hundreds of other people, from poultry breeders to haulers, will also be affected.

Many of them attended a meeting at a Coffee County school Tuesday night to voice their concerns.

About 500 people showed up to listen to what local, state and federal representatives had to say.

Governor Perdue's agriculture liaison talked about how important the plant is to the community and how many people will be affected by its closure.

"The indirect jobs are tremendous here in the county, from the truckers. It will funnel down to our automobile dealers to our furniture stores. It's just a ripple effect. It's a devastating effect," said Donnie Smith, Governor Sonny Perdue's Agriculture Liaison.

Leaders promised to try to find a buyer for the plant so that it could be kept open.

Georgia is the country's top chicken producer.

Pilgrims Pride is ending contracts with 140 Georgia producers who provided chickens to the plant.

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