Hastings meat plant to reopen this summer

A Florida-based company says it is buying the closed Armour-Eckrich packing plant in Hastings and hopes to open it for production by midsummer.

Billy Morris is president and CEO of Bubba Foods, LLC, of Jacksonville, Fla. He says the Hastings plant is in good shape despite being closed since July of last year, costing 370 people their jobs. Morris says his company is spending more than $11 million to buy the plant and make adjustments for producing frozen Bubba Burgers. He says his company envisions about 200 employees to be working there at full production, which he says would be about 30 million pounds ground, packaged and shipped annually.