TURNER — Moark LLC has sold its egg farm here and former egg farms in Winthrop and Leeds to a Pennsylvania company.

Maine Department of Agriculture spokesman John Bott said Moark, a subsidiary of Land’O Lakes, informed the state on Monday as a courtesy that it had sold the three farms to Hillandale Farms on July 7.

A Moark spokeswoman declined to comment. Hillandale didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Bott said his department doesn’t have any role in blessing the sale. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection, though, does.

According to a legal ad the companies have run, Moark will be asking the DEP to transfer its state permits to Hillandale Farms Conn, LLC, based in North Versailles, Penn.

DEP spokesman David Madore said that application had not yet been received on Monday. The agency has 15 days to review and approve it when it does.


Three years ago, when Moark leased the three farms from Jack DeCoster for 10 years with an option to buy, the DEP had to approve the transfer of air, site location, solid waste and wastewater discharge to the operator.

It’s unclear if Moark has sold its lease or had purchased the farms outright in the interim.

Town managers in Winthrop and Leeds on Monday, to their knowledge, neither of those farms have chickens anymore.

The Turner egg farm has had a long history under DeCoster, facing fines for cruelty to animals and unsafe working conditions.

This spring in Iowa, DeCoster and his son were sentenced to three months in prison and their former company, Quality Egg Farm, fined $6.8 million after a massive 2010 salmonella outbreak that left thousands sick and lead to a recall of 550 million eggs.

According to a story in the Sioux City Gazette, which covered the trial: “More than 1,900 people across the country reported getting sick from Salmonella enteritidis linked to tainted eggs supplied by Quality Egg, doing business as Wright County Egg, and Hillandale Farms, an Alden, Iowa, operation also managed by the DeCosters.”


Hillandale Farms Conn was incorporated in Delaware on April 24, and registered to do business as a limited liability company in Maine as of July 1, according to the Maine Secretary of State Bureau of Corporations. The nature of the business registered with the bureau is to “engage in, own, lease and/or operate a poultry egg-laying business.”

The secretary of the corporation is listed as Syed Rizvi, a general manager at Hillandale Farms, which has operations in the northeast, midwest and southeast United States.

The relationship, if any, between Hillandale Farms in Iowa and Hillandale Farms Conn LLC in Penn. was unclear on Monday.


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