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ASU Broiler Project

gets $80,000 boost

Peco Foods has donated $80,000 to Arkansas State University College of Agriculture to remodel a barn and convert the existing structure into a modern broiler house, the university said in a press release Wednesday.

The remodeling of Arkansas State University’s existing barn farms was scheduled to begin this week. The current barn is a “wide open building with a tin roof and no technology”.

Mickey Latour, dean of the College of Agriculture, said in a press release the new facility will have fans, cooling pads and heating units “controlled by technology to optimize bird health and growth.”

The modern facility will include technology that will allow automatic irrigation of the broilers, the press release says.

It is also expected to expand education and research opportunities for students and provide hands-on learning opportunities.

“As active members of the communities where we live, work and do business, we are honored to support Arkansas State University’s new broiler project,” said Duane Weems, Pocahontas live operations manager for Peco Foods, in the press release .

According to the press release, the modernized plant should be completed in two to three months.

– Alexandria Brown

Natural grocer looks

Q4 profit of $2.2M

LAKEWOOD, Colorado — Natural Grocers of Vitamin Cottage Inc. on Thursday reported fourth-quarter tax income of $2.2 million, or 9 cents a share.

The Lakewood-based retailer of natural and organic foods and dietary supplements had sales of $274.2 million during the period, up from $272 million a year earlier.

“Fourth quarter results were in line with our expectations given the moderating trends in the pandemic, including normalized levels of summer travel and eating out,” said Kemper Isely, co-president of the company. “We estimate product cost inflation was about 7% in the fourth quarter.”

For the year, the company reported earnings of $21.4 million, or 94 cents a share.

Natural Grocers shares were up 31 cents, or 2.7%, to close at $11.94 on Thursday.

The chain has three stores in Arkansas – in Fayetteville, Jonesboro and Little Rock.

— The Associated Press

State index ends day

with a loss of 3.67 points

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the state’s largest public companies, closed Thursday at 832.63, down from 3.67.

“Hawkish commentary from Federal Reserve officials led stocks lower for the second straight day as the S&P 500 Index consolidates recent gains from mid-October lows,” said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of December 30, 1997.

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