Rose Acre Farms Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony

by John Gutekunst | Jun 26, 2015
The groundbreaking ceremony for Rose Acre Farms’ egg-producing facility was held Saturday, June 13 near Bouse, Ariz. The event was hosted by the La Paz Economic Development Corporation. The ceremony was attended by more than 150 invited guests.
Officials from Rose Acre Farms in attendance included Chairperson Lois Rust, CEO Marcus Rust, Director John Rust, Elias Hendricks, Katie Schlosser, Chips Everhart, Greg Hinton and Todd Lillemon.

 La Paz EDC President Skip Becker served as emcee for the event. In addition to Becker, speakers included Arizona District 5 Sen. Kelli Ward, Penny Pew from U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar’s office, Marcus Rust and Chips Everhart from Rose Acre Farms, David Bentler from Arizona Public Service, La Paz County Supervisors D.L. Wilson, King Clapperton and Holly Irwin, Parker Mayor Dan Beaver, La Paz EDC Chairperson Roberta Hoffman, La Paz Regional Hospital CEO Robert Libberton and Indiana State Rep. Heath VanNatter.

 “This was a great day for the people of La Paz County,” Becker said. “The weather was perfect, and the barbecue was a big success. My clients really enjoyed the ceremony that showcased La Paz County and the State of Arizona being a great place to do business. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great day! Rose Acre Farms will invest $100 million in create 80 to 100 jobs in La Paz County.”

Becker said he had spent more than 4,000 hours with Rose Acre Farms. He had met with the Rust family on the Bouse site, and he had visited their facilities in the Midwest. He said every member of the family has been involved in every aspect of their business. He found Rose Acre employees love their employer, and the company is active in the communities they are located in. He added that giving back to their communities is important for Rose Acre Farms.

 “That’s why I fought so hard for Rose Acre Farms,” Becker said. “They will benefit all the communities in La Paz County.”

 Chips Everhart, a representative of Rose Acre Farms, thanked Becker for his work, noting the two of them had spent many hours working together to lay the groundwork for the facility. He described the facility as the embodiment of the American Dream:  to stop by a lonely site in the Arizona desert and envision an egg farm contributing to the local economy.

 Marcus Rust thanked the community for their support of the project. He said there was a great community in La Paz County, and they couldn’t do what they do without the support of the community.

The plans for the facility were announced in October 2014, when the deal for Rose Acre Farms to buy 2,600 acres from APS was announced. Indiana-based Rose Acre Farms is the second largest egg producer in the nation. David Rust started the company in 1939, and his family still owns it.

 The facility is located eight miles south of Bouse on State Route 72. When completed, it’s estimated the facility will house three million laying hens and will provide 80 to 100 jobs with comprehensive employee benefits. In addition to the laying farm, there will also be a pullet farm, a rail spur and a feed milling operation. The investment in phase one of the facility is estimated at $80 million.

 Rose Acre Farms began in 1939 in Jackson County, Ind., when David Rust built two hen houses each holding 500 hens. In the 1940s, he began selling eggs to local produce markets.

 Today, Rose Acre Farms has 17 facilities in six states. They employ approximately 1,900 people and the company has an estimated annual revenue of $200 million. The headquarters is in Seymour, Ind.

Rose AcreTM Recipe of the Month

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 oz milk or semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 oz dark chocolate chunk, or your preference
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, salt, and butter until a paste forms with no lumps.
  2. Whisk in the egg and vanilla, beating until light ribbons fall off the whisk and remain for a short while before falling back into the mixture.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking soda, then fold the mixture with a spatula (Be careful not to overmix, which would cause the gluten in the flour to toughen resulting in cakier cookies).
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks, then chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. For a more intense toffee-like flavor and deeper color, chill the dough overnight. The longer the dough rests, the more complex its flavor will be.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop the dough with an ice-cream scoop onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 4 inches (10 cm) of space between cookies and 2 inches (5 cm) of space from the edges of the pan so that the cookies can spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges have started to barely brown.
  8. Cool completely before serving.
"This is the day which the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24