MOULTRIE -- Moultrie's Farmland National Beef packing plant will soon operate under a new name, National Beef Packing Company, LLC, thanks to a deal approved Tuesday.

U.S. Premium Beef's bid to purchase partner Farmland Industries' interest in Farmland National Beef was approved by a Federal Bankruptcy Court judge in Kansas City, Mo.

The buyout had been expected to occur since FNB filed for Chapter 11 protection in March.

U.S. Premium Beef's partnership with Farmland Industries gave USPB the first right of refusal.

Bill Gandy, vice president of sales, expects business as usual despite the name change.

"We expect to continue our current growth pattern," Gandy said.

The former Farmland National Beef plant in Moultrie was the first recipient of former Gov. Roy Barnes's OneGeorgia rural development initiative funds in 2001. It employs 350 people.

The new USPB is the only farmer/rancher-owned beef and pork processor in the country and is the fourth largest beef processor in America, supplying more than 10 percent of the nation's beef.

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