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Selma Bush Hog safe for now

Bush Hog has notified the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development it’ll lay off 141 workers at its Washington County site, but no word has been released here at headquarters in Selma, Ala.

The Associated Press reported Monday the labor report for the week of June 1-8 in Nashville, Tenn., noted that Bush Hog notified the department of the lay off, effective at the end of the month. Bush Hog manufactures agricultural equipment.

In May, the company informed local officials in Washington County it would close by mid-July, unless the plant is sold, according to a story in The Greeneville Sun. Companies are required through the 1988 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to inform local governments of pending mass layoffs.

The Tennessee plant, known as the Tedford plant, is a 360,000-square-foot site that sees production of rotary cutters, finishing mowers, zero-turn mowers, front-end loaders and backhoes.

Bush Hog President Duane Prentice was not available Monday afternoon for comment.

Wayne Vardaman, director of the Selma-Dallas County Economic Development Authority, said his office had not been contacted about any layoffs, either here or elsewhere in the Bush Hog system.

Mike Presley, a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Economic Development, said he is unaware of any planned layoffs by Bush Hog in Selma. The company is not listed on the “Alabama Warn List,” which notifies workers of planned layoffs or closings. However, a statement on the publicly available warn list says it can be incomplete.

In February, officials at Bush Hog in Selma announced the company would lay off 154 people, mostly in management and support, to restructure the workforce at the plant. At the time, Prentice said the efforts were part of a reorganization plan needed to make the company leaner and more competitive.

The company also has a manufacturing plant in Great Bend, Kan. Bush Hog is owned by CC Industries Inc. of Chicago, a corporation which is owned by Henry Crown & Co., also of Chicago.