WICHITA, Kan. – Cargill has announced it will not move its protein headquarters out of Wichita, but it will relocate its offices to a new, to-be-determined location.

After months of reviewing the current location, considering other options and hiring an outside firm to assist with the process, Cargill corporate vice president Brian Sikes announced at a press conference Tuesday that its protein business will remain in Wichita. Site selection for the new location should begin later this week and the move to a new office building is expected to happen by the end of 2018.

The Kansas headquarters has been located at 151 N. Main Street in Wichita for 30 years. Most of the 900 employees that work in its Wichita-based operations are housed in a 10-story building.

“We’ve conducted an exhaustive search for the past few months,” Sikes said at the Tuesday press conference. “It’s not a task we have taken lightly.”

During the review process, Cargill also considered cities in Texas and Colorado.

“At the end of the day we decided Wichita was right for us,” Sikes said. “We didn’t choose Wichita because we thought we could survive, we chose Wichita because we thought we could thrive.”

Sikes explained that there are more than 4,000 Cargill employees working in the state of Kansas today.

“The combination of Cargill and Wichita and Kansas we think is a winning and powerful combination,” Sikes said.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who attended the press conference, commended Cargill for choosing to stay in Wichita. He said the decision was great news for the state of Kansas.

“It feeds into the long-term vision of growth that we have as a state,” Brownback said.  

Minneapolis-based Cargill recently acquired a beef plant in Columbia, South Carolina; opened a nearly $50 million distribution center at its Dodge City beef processing plant; is investing $111 million in a plant conversion for cooked meat products at Columbus, Nebraska; and dedicated a $27 million egg processing expansion in Lake Odessa, Michigan.