TURNER — A Land O’Lakes subsidiary has agreed to a long-term lease-purchase deal for egg farm operations in Turner, Leeds and Winthrop — including the former DeCoster egg farm.

Moark LLC, a subsidiary of the national egg and dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes, on Tuesday announced the deal for the assets of Quality Egg of New England LLC, Dorothy Egg Farm LLC and Mountain Hollow Farms LLC.

According to a Land O’Lakes news release, Moark will be the sole operator of egg production, processing and warehousing operations at the farms.

Moark will have the option of buying the facilities after 10 years. Lease or sale prices and other financial details were not released. The transaction had not yet closed, according to the release.

Moark is a major marketer, distributor, processor and producer of fresh-shell eggs and egg products. The company was formed as a joint project of Land O’Lakes and a Midwestern feed company in 2000. Land O’Lakes acquired 100 percent ownership of Moark in 2006.

Moark operates egg farms in California, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio and Massachusetts.

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According to the company, operating Maine’s egg farms will lead to better distribution for the company in the Northeast.

“It complements our existing operations by adding approximately 3.6 million (laying hens), and it provides greater access to a growing market for eggs,” company President Craig Willardson said. “This will benefit our customers, the Maine-based employees and the Maine economy.”

The company plans to use the majority of the current work force at each facility. The company also plans to institute robust safety and quality assurance standards, according to the release.

“Nothing is more important to us than the quality of our products and the safety and reliability of our operations,” Willardson said. 


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