Former Beef Plant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Steve Charles, Vice President of Operations for Windsor Foods, is overseeing the transformation of the raw processing plant at Oakland to a frozen foods manufacturing facility. Photo by Jack Gurner

After $15 million renovation, former beef plant gets new life

By Jack Gurner
North Mississippi Herald

OAKLAND – With jobs on the decline across the area, the hiring of almost 200 people in the coming months to staff Windsor Foods’ new plant in Oakland on the western edge of Yalobusha County comes as good news. Windsor is occupying the facilities vacated by the beef plant which opened and closed in 2004.   

Operations are expected to begin in November with on-the-job training, according to Lynn Hall, who handles media relations for the Texas-based company. “This will be a gradual process,” Hall said about the start-up.   

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The initial hiring of 200 will outfit the first two lines at the food processing plant, Hall said. A third line for Asia is also in the works and Yalobusha County officials have hinted that even more jobs could be in store.   

“The majority of hiring will be local,” Hall said Tuesday. “Only about eight to 10 will come in from the company.”    

Windsor finalized the deal to obtain the 140,000 square-foot facility in Oakland last June and began immediately renovating the plant which was built in 2003.

The company invested almost $15 million, according to grant documents, while the state kicked in over $700,000 through a Community Development Block Grant. Yalobusha County also provided almost $70,000 to match the grant, which was awarded through the county. Much of the county’s matching contributions came in the form of in-kind work at the actual site.

“We are taking a raw processing plant to a frozen foods plant,” Hall said about the conversion. The plant was originally constructed for beef processing.

“We expect to have the facility work completed by mid-September,” Hall continued, adding that the equipment installation will follow.   

The plant will produce a variety of frozen ethnic products under Windsor’s branded banners as well as its customer’s own brands, the company said in an earlier press release.   

Anyone interested in applying for a job at the new food processing plant can send a resume to Terry McMinn via email at: or at Windsor Foods, P.O. Box 179, Oakland, MS 38948.   

Windsor currently operates 10 plants in the United States.