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Hatching a move: Egg producer’s corporate office lands in Seymour

by Aubrey Woods | Jun 12, 2017
The exterior of Rose Acre Farms’ new 27,000-square-foot, $5 million corporate office on Seymour’s far west side may resemble a chicken house, but you won’t find a chicken there.

What you will find is the heart of the nation’s second largest egg producing company with more than 2,100 employees and egg laying farms in seven states.

The building on 6.477 acres at 1657 W. Tipton St. features large, naturally lit open office spaces for 80 employees on both the east and west sides of the building, collaborative works areas, a boardroom and multiple conference rooms. There also is a large foyer featuring an antique Chevrolet Viking delivery truck, an antique tractor and other items related to the history of the company that dates to the 1930s.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted Thursday, followed by an open house. Employees were to begin moving in Friday morning from the corporate offices that had been located in the 200 block of West State Road 258.

Chief Operating Officer Tony Wesner said it was a big day for the family-owned company, which also produces liquid and dried eggs and egg protein powder.

“We have three generations of the Rust family here with us,” he said. “They have been in the egg business for six decades or more. Our heritage in agriculture runs very deep. It’s what we are. It’s who we are.”

Wesner said Seymour has a great agriculture tradition, and although there is a lot of diversity in the community, agriculture still drives a lot of things in Jackson County and Seymour.

He said besides the Rust family’s commitment, there is another group of people that makes the company’s success possible — the farmers who support the company every day.

“Our success hinges on our relationship with people that are in agriculture in this county,” he said. “We use 24 million bushels of corn each year as a company and 14 to 15 million bushels of beans, so our relationship with our farmers we value a great deal as we do our relationship with our neighbors. What we do is very important to us. We help feed the world.”

Wesner said the company produces enough eggs to feed 8 million people two eggs a day through egg laying farms in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and North Carolina.

Mark Whittington, a member of the company’s building committee and vice president of risk management, welcomed everyone to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Our current office was built over 40 years ago, and we’ve outgrown it by far, so we’re pretty excited to have a new home,” he said.

The present office was built in the mid-1970s and originally housed less than a dozen employees.

 

Over time, it was expanded and housed more than 50 employees before the move.

The company has grown to more than 2,100 employees across the nation, Whittington said.

“And it has taken a lot of personnel to support that,” he said. “Between our HR/payroll renovation that’s two doors down and our warehouse there and everybody else in Seymour, I think we will have about 100 employees inside the Seymour city limits now, so we’re pretty excited to be a part of the community and to be here as our new home.”

Whittington said the move was a long process with many starts and stops.

“Many years of thinking and finally pulling the trigger,” he said.

Whittingon thanked the Rust family for its commitment to their employees and the community along with Seymour city officials and Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., for working with the company and Force Construction.

“They hit it out of the ballpark and have a great product here,” Whittington said of the general contractor, David Force in particular. “He left his stamp inside and outside the building with his creative design.”

Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman said he was more excited about the move than company officials.

“Any time we get a company of Rose Acre’s size to come into Seymour, it’s just unbelievable,” he said. “We can’t be happier to welcome you into Seymour.”

Wesner said the move is the answer to a lot of issues besides the need for more space.

“There is a lot more room, and we won’t have to fight the White River,” he said.

A lot of employees live in Seymour, and in some years, seasonal flooding presents those employees and the company with challenges, he said.

The move to the city also provides the company with better exposure for potential employees, Wesner said.

“Eight miles out in the country, you don’t get a lot of exposure,” he said.

Although change is hard, the move is a new day for the company and provides the company with one more thing — room to grow, Wesner said.

“We’re not going to stay the same,” he said.

Rose AcreTM Recipe of the Month

Mini Breakfast Flatbread Pizzas
              
          
Cooking spray
6 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. finely shredded Parmesan cheese
4 Individual round flatbreads (6-inch diameter)
2 tsp. olive oil (optional)
1 cup grape or cherry tomato halves
1/2 cup thinly sliced spinach or basil leaves
Salt and pepper (optional)
3/4
cup shredded Italian cheese blend
Crushed red pepper (optional)

 Heat oven to 450°F. Coat large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot.
"This is the day which the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24

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