Upgrades to the facility include installation of new incubator/hatcher systems that are easier to clean and sanitize between uses. The new systems also will reduce the potential for cross-contamination from bacteria that could be harmful to turkeys and humans. Easily accessible controls will eliminate the need for workers to climb onto the equipment, thus reducing potential injuries and enhancing workplace safety.
Connie Isenhart, a hatchery manager who oversees the incubation and hatching of more than 23 million turkey eggs annually, said Cargill Protein is replacing equipment that has been in service for more than 30 years. “The new technology reduces stress on the hatchlings due to advancements in environmental control technology, which improves the survivability of day-old turkey poults,” she noted. “Healthy poults convert feed more efficiently and result in the best bird possible for Cargill turkey farmers and consumers.”
Nielsen Builders Inc., of Harrisonburg is installing the new equipment and technology. The project is expected to be complete in 24 months.
“When our new system is operating at capacity, we will be setting more than 112,000 eggs daily to meet the needs of our turkey business,” Isenhart said. “As always, our goal is to hatch, then place with farmers, high-quality, healthy, turkeys that produce the great protein products our customers and consumers have come to expect from our Honeysuckle White, Shady Brook Farms and Honest Turkey brands. By investing in our business for future growth, we will be better positioned to help deliver on our promises to meet customer and consumer expectations.”