Cargill Pork expands bacon production

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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Cargill's Hedrick, Iowa feed mill
Cargill's feed mill in Hedrick Iowa will load and unload approximately 100 trucks daily, one every 10 minutes.

OTTUMWA, Iowa – Cargill Pork, a unit of Cargill, recently doubled its bacon production capabilities at its Ottumwa, Iowa processing plant following a recently completed expansion project. Cargill invested more than $25 million in the facility. Cargill also dedicated a new $29 million feed mill in Hedrick, Iowa. The feed mill operates 24 hours per day, six days per week. Cargill said the facility is 15 stories tall and can produce 350,000 tons of feed annually. The feed mill converts roughly 6 million bushels of locally grown corn into feed. The finished feed is delivered to more than 100 family owned farms that raise hogs for Cargill. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for May 12.

Cargill’s Ottumwa pork processing plant sits on a 10-acre site. The facility covers more than 500,000-sq. ft., employs more than 2,300 people and slaughters up to 19,000 hogs per day. It is one of two large pork processing facilities owned by Cargill, with the other in Beardstown, Ill.

“People love bacon and we see demand continuing to increase,” said Randy Zorn, Ottumwa plant general manager. “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.”

A 20-minute drive separates the Hedrick feed mill and the Ottumwa bacon processing plant. Cargill said the 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.”

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