Feb. 26, 2007

Classic Egg building purchased

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

The vacant Classic Egg building in Cokato’s Industrial Park has been purchased by Forsman Farms and will soon be renovated for a new branch of business.

The purchase of the food processing plant will allow Forsman Farms to grade its own eggs into large, extra large and jumbo sizes for wholesale.

“This is new to us,” said Peter Forsman.

This will make Forsman Farms become more vertically integrated, Forsman explained, making them an egg producer from start to finish.

Their next mission is coming up with a name for their eggs, he said.

They currently have eight full-time employees and six part time. They intend to hire 10 to 20 more workers with the purchase of the new processing plant.

Forsman Farms also is expecting to move its headquarters to the new location as well. Currently, it is located on Mowery Avenue east of Cokato off of Highway 12.

The building has sat empty since mid-2002, when Michael Foods discontinued its operations in Cokato.

The Forsmans thought of building a new plant, but found the 33,000 square-foot Classic Egg building to be just the right size for their needs.

“This is a win-win situation for all of us,” said Mayor Bruce Johnson, explaining that anytime Cokato can add to the workforce it’s a positive thing.

Now, the Forsmans will purchase additional machinery including an egg grader which separates the eggs into sizes and an automatic detection to discard bad or cracked eggs, according to Forsman.

The plant is expected to be ready and renovated for the new machinery by May and ready for production in July.

A history of Forsman Farms

Forsman Farms is a four-generation farm. In 1963, Norman Forsman built his first 10,000 bird chicken house. Later, the farm was purchased by his son, Gary Forsman in 1972.

Before this, Gary farmed land, hogs, and chickens. But in order to make a profit, they had to specialize in one particular product and chose eggs.

“We had to be good at one thing,” said Peter Forsman.

In 1978, Forsman bought the first large house, and began selling eggs to Sparboe in Litchfield until 1995.

Forsman Farms began its own marketing plan and began selling to Golden Oval Eggs of Renville in 1995.

Now, Forsman shares the company with his sons Peter and David. Recently, they bought another farm in Montevideo to process their own eggs and sell them to stores and restaurants.

The sons have always helped with their father’s farm, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that they decided to come on board with the business.

Fun facts about eggs

• The Forsman Farm chickens go through 30 tons of feed a day.

• They produce approximately 490,000 eggs a day.

• The eggs fill up approximately 10 semi-loads a week.

• Each chicken weighs approximately three pounds and is butchered after two years.

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