MOULTRIE — When National Beef came to town in 2001 it was big news — not only for Moultrie and the surrounding area but the entire state as well.

National Beef, then called Farmland National Beef, was the first recipient of OneGeorgia funds, incentives offered by the state to attract companies into Georgia. The Moultrie case-ready plant now supplies the whole Southeast for Wal-Mart and provides more than 640 good paying jobs for local workers.

But now that National Beef is being bought by Brazilian-based company JBS S.A. in a deal that totals nearly $1 billion, it’s only natural to wonder what’s in store for the Moultrie plant.

“We don’t expect any changes to our plant out there as a result of the announcement (Tuesday). It’s going to be business as usual,” assured Simon McGee, vice president of corporate strategy and acquisitions. “We’re going to continue to execute our strategy that’s brought us our success to date. ... Moultrie’s been very good for National Beef and to National Beef. It think it has been a good relationship, and we don’t expect any changes.”

National Beef has operations in Liberal and Dodge City, Kan.; Brawley, Calif.; Hummels Wharf, Pa.; and Moultrie, Ga. JBS operates 23 plants in Brazil and six in Argentina on top of operations in Australia and the U.S. resulting from the purchase of Swift and Company last year, a recent press release from National Beef said.

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