Cargill invests in Iowa feed, pork production facilities

Cargill will dedicate its new $29 million feed mill in Hedrick, Iowa, on May 12.

Cargill will dedicate its new $29 million feed mill in Hedrick, Iowa, on May 12.

The 15-story-tall mill will operate 23 hours per day, six days per week and will employ 14 employees. The facility will produce 350,000 tons of feed annually, which will go to the more than 100 family-owned farms that raise hogs for Cargill in the region.

Another, $25 million-plus project recently was completed in Ottumwa, Iowa, at Cargill’s pork processing facility, to increase bacon production. Combined, these two projects represent an investment of nearly $60 million in the region by Cargill Pork.

“This is a great day for Hedrick and Ottumwa, the farmers who supply us hogs for pork, Cargill and our employees,” said Jane Fallon, Cargill Pork general manager. “It’s always exciting to see the investments we make turn into long-term job creation. These projects represent our commitment to the state’s agricultural economy, and illustrate our long heritage for helping communities and farmers to thrive while enhancing our ongoing efforts to provide high-quality protein to nourish millions of Americans and consumers around the world.”

The feed mill will load and unload approximately 100 trucks daily, one every 10 minutes, annually converting about six million bushels of locally grown corn to feed for farms in a radius from the mill that averages 35 miles. Building the feed mill required 12,500 square yards of concrete, 340 tons of steel rebar in the mill structure alone, and during most of the construction averaged 75 workers to complete the job with a near-perfect safety record.

“We are proud about the feed mill we built here, and want to show off the facility that will serve the region for many decades to come,” Fallon said. “Cargill was founded in Iowa 150 years ago, and we look forward to our next 150 years of helping communities thrive and contributing to the state’s vibrant agricultural economy.”

Cargill’s Ottumwa pork processing plant sits on a 10-acre site, has more than 500,000 square feet under roof, employs more than 2,300 people and slaughters 18,000-19,000 hogs daily. It is one of two large pork processing facilities owned by Cargill, with the other located in Beardstown, Illinois. The Ottumwa facility’s expansion has allowed it to double daily bacon output.

“People love bacon and we see demand continuing to increase,” said Ottumwa plant general manager Randy Zorn. “As consumer demand for bacon has increased, our retail and foodservice customers want more bacon, and we intend to meet their needs. In fact, we inaugurated a Bacon Fest in Ottumwa last year that drew 4,000 people to a one-day event, which tells us how passionate people are for bacon.”

Cargill has been making investments to help nourish people for 150 years,” said Mike Luker, president of Cargill Pork, based in Wichita, Kansas. “With the planet’s population headed for 9 billion people by 2050, it is important to us that we produce high-quality, nutritious, affordable protein in the most sustainable way possible. We always strive to be better and improve the way we do things large and small. These investments in our pork business in Iowa will help us continue to responsibly meet the needs of our customers and consumers, now and in the future.”


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