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DOVER — Mountaire Farms announced Friday it has purchased the Cartanza Grain Facility on North Little Creek Road just east of Dover.

The facility, originally built in 1977, has the capacity to store more than 1 million bushels of grain and is equipped with a grain dryer.

Mountaire Farms, which claims to be the sixth largest chicken processor in the nation, noted that the purchase was a strategic one that will enable the company to purchase more “local grain” for chicken feed.

“We are grateful to the Cartanza family for allowing us to continue the legacy they’ve built,” said Adam Downes, who oversees the Agri-Business Department of Mountaire Farms.

“Buying local grain is important to us and maintaining those relationships that they have established through the years is going to be our number one goal.”

This will be the 13th grain storage facility the company owns on the Delmarva peninsula. Mountaire Farms noted that this facility in particular would enable them to purchase more grain from Kent and New Castle county farmers.

Of the 13 grain facilities, six are in Delaware (Harrington, Townsend, Seaford, Frankford, Millsboro and now Dover) — two are in Virginia and five are in Maryland.

Founded in 1914, Mountaire Farms has grown into a company with nearly 10,000 employees across its facilities in Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. For company president Phillip Plylar, the new purchase signals the company’s dedication to its home state.

“We are proud to be a part of agriculture on Delmarva and blessed to be able to continue to grow here” he said in a statement. “Our Agri-Business team works very hard to provide the service our farmers require. We believe this helps set Mountaire apart as a company. We simply appreciate this new opportunity to earn business from more local farmers in the region.”

According to the Delaware Department of Agriculture, chicken feed is the primary use for grain produced locally.

“With the majority of the grain produced by Delaware’s farmers feeding Delmarva’s poultry, I am pleased to see Mountaire’s commitment to family farmers throughout our entire state,” Michael Scuse, the state’s Secretary of Agriculture, said in a statement. “Cartanza Grain Storage has been a long-standing family agribusiness and it’s important to farmers that they are able to do business locally. By acquiring this facility, Mountaire is ensuring that farmers will continue to have local options when selling their grain.”