MONMOUTH, Ill. – Officials from Farmland Foods and local government officials Farmland’s Monmouth, Ill. pork plant on Oct. 11 to highlight an Illinois state business development package awarded to the company for a multi-million dollar expansion and upgrade at that facility. Warren Ribley, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) director, explained the award package consists of a combination of state funds, private investment and tax credits that will retain 1,400 jobs while creating 50 new positions and provide financing for plant upgrades. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2011.

“The [Oct. 11 program] was hosted in the new building frame [still under construction] that will house the new harvest floor,” a Farmland spokesman told

The new harvest floor and new equipment associated with the project will create cost efficiencies and automation to help make the plant more productive and competitive, the spokesman said. “Farmland Foods' Monmouth plant has an existing CO2 stunning system that has been in place for at least a couple years now,” he added.

Farmland plans to replace some of the plant’s outmoded technology, which has been preventing it from reaching manufacturing capacity necessary to process higher-margin hams and bacon. The funds will also allow Farmland to upgrade its existing waste-water treatment to become a "pre-treatment" facility, removing harmful pollutants from manufacturing before being discharged to the sewer system.

DCEO will administer the state’s $8.8 million business investment package consisting of Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) corporate income tax credits, employer training investment program funds (ETIP) and federally funded grant via the community development assistance program (CDAP), all of which are based on job creation and job training funds. These funds will support at least $12 million in private investment by the company.

“The City of Monmouth has already invested more than $17 million to build a new wastewater treatment facility for this area,” he continued. “With the help of the state of Illinois, the city will invest another $1.5 million, in conjunction with the $750,000 grant from the state, to make modifications to the North Pre-Treatment Plant. These investments will not only accommodate increased production at Farmland’s plant. They will also improve the environmental footprint of the facility. These wastewater treatment investments are important because they will help make sure that the plant complies with new environmental regulations.”

"We are pleased to be able to partner with the State of Illinois and the City of Monmouth to expand Farmland Foods' Monmouth facility to create jobs, add production capacity and enhance the plant's productivity," said Michael Brown, president of Farmland Foods. "This investment and expansion should enable the Monmouth plant to stay competitive and productive. On behalf of the more than 1,400 employees at the Monmouth plant, I'd like to thank Illinois Governor Quinn and the City of Monmouth for their support in making this expansion possible."

The Monmouth facility was purchased by Farmland Foods in 1993.