Jack Link’s to hire 800 people at a $450 million meat-based snack factory in Georgia


PERRY, Ga. (AP) — Georgia is home to Sasquatch, or at least the Wisconsin-based meat snack company that has adopted the furry creature as its mascot.

Jack Link’s Protein Snacks announced Tuesday that it will build a $450 million plant in the central Georgia town of Perry, hiring 800 people after it opens in late 2023. Link Snacks says it is the world’s largest protein snack manufacturer, making beef jerky and other meat snacks sold under its own name and other brands.

Gov. Brian Kemp and members of the Link family, owners of the Minong, Wis., company, met Tuesday with other officials at a 120-acre (50-hectare) pecan orchard in Perry where the plant will be built.

Kemp said it was Georgia’s largest economic development project outside of metro Atlanta this year.

“When I ran for governor, I promised to provide opportunities like the one we celebrate today in all parts of our state, especially rural Georgia,” said the Republican, who seeks up for re-election and has opposition, including former U.S. Senator David Perdue in the May 24 GOP Primary. “Today is the latest fruit of our hard work to create more jobs and opportunities for hard-working Georgians.”

CEO Troy Link, son of founder Jack Link, said the Georgia plant will be the largest family business ever built.

“The Georgia plant will ensure that we continue to lead the protein snack category with great innovation and continue to grow with our customers, consumers and team members,” Link said.

The company’s Sasquatch mascot was on hand, as part of its long-running “Messin’ With Sasquatch” campaign

“He’s been wonderful for our business and we’re having a lot of fun with Sasquatch,” Link said.

Kevin McAdams, the company’s North American president, said Link Snacks is considering more than 30 locations nationwide. McAdams said the company is immediately hiring a plant manager, human relations manager, controller, food safety and quality manager, and plant engineer.

McAdams said the company is also doubling the size of its plant in Alpena, South Dakota, and adding facilities in Minong, Wis., and Underwood, Iowa. Jack Link’s also has facilities in Germany, New Zealand and Brazil.

Georgia will pay to train company workers, although a value for this incentive was not immediately available.

Link Snacks could claim various tax breaks, including an income tax credit allowing it to deduct $3,500 per job annually from state income tax, up to $14 million over five years. , provided workers earn at least $28,000 per year. If Jack Link’s doesn’t earn enough to owe that much tax, the state would pay him personal income taxes from workers’ paychecks to make up the rest. The company could also benefit from local tax breaks.

State Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said Jack Link will add to Georgia’s food industry.

“We have a fantastic food processing industry that is booming,” Wilson said. “Agriculture continues to be the backbone of the Georgian economy.”


Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.


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