plant project


Domestic upgrades

Austin, Minnesota-based Hormel Foods Corp. plans to spend about $50 million to add a new 156,000-sq.-ft. processing facility to its Dold Foods manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas. Along with the new construction, Hormel plans to spend $82 million for upgraded machinery and equipment putting total cost for the project at approximately $132 million.

Hormel estimates expansion of the bacon processing facility will bring an additional 384 jobs to the area. Currently, the Dold Foods facility employs 275 and contributes largely to Hormel’s overall bacon production. City government documents state that Hormel qualifies for a 100 percent, five-plus-five-year tax exemption – except for any capital outlay levy assessed by the local school district – based on the company’s capital investment and job creation.

Livingston, California-based Foster Farms plans to preserve existing jobs, as well as create new ones, at its plant in Farmerville, Louisiana. Foster Farms purchased the plant from Pilgrim’s Pride in 2009 and plans to invest roughly $30 million on expansion and equipment upgrades, one of which is reportedly a controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) system. The expansion is expected to preserve 1,092 jobs in Union Parish and add 92 new direct and indirect jobs.

“Foster Farms is expanding its Farmerville operation for future growth and flexibility of customer mix, as well as greater efficiency in its fresh chicken operations,” said Laura Flanagan, president and CEO at Foster Farms. “Foster Farms has previously worked with the state economic development department when we acquired the facility in 2009. Since then, we have been pleased with the quality of the workforce, the business-friendly climate, and the attitude of state and local officials in helping us to succeed in Louisiana.”

Columbus Craft Meats, Hayward, California, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., completed its second expansion in two years. In 2015, Columbus increased its production over 50 percent and doubled the size of its Hayward facility. This year saw the salami curing facility add 10,000 sq. ft., increasing production capacity by 30 percent. The $16 million expansion was completed in September and featured the installation of custom, Italian-made equipment.

“We are now the most broadly distributed deli meat brand in the United States and we’re excited to see the tremendous growth in our business,” said Joe Ennen, CEO. “This added capacity will assure that even more consumers coast-to-coast will be able to enjoy our premium salami. Further, our expansion not only allows us to meet demand but also to continue developing innovative new products.”

Privately held, Roanoke, Alabama-based Koch Foods Inc. is planning to invest $40.5 million in a feed mill to produce prepared feeds, feeding ingredients and support the growth of the company’s Pine Mountain, Georgia, poultry processing plant. According to the Randolph County Economic Development Authority’s (RCEDA) projections, the company’s contract growers will build approximately 190 new growing houses. The new growing facilities would cost about $500,000 to construct and would result in $95 million of capital spending along with new jobs, property tax, and sales tax into the local economy, the agency said.

“Our plans to build a state-of-the-art feed mill in Roanoke will allow for a more efficient live operation that is necessary in today’s extremely competitive environment,” said Mark Kaminsky, COO of Koch Foods. “With the right facilities such as this feed mill in place, Koch Foods will not only remain competitive but look to expand in this area. We appreciate all the support this project has received.”

Prestage Foods of Iowa LLC continues to move forward on its new pork plant project in Wright County, Iowa. The facility is scheduled to open in late 2018. Chicago-based Epstein is acting as general contractor leading the $285 million project.

“Our earthwork is largely complete at this point. We are working on utilities and will begin steel erection later this month,” Prestage COO Jere Null wrote in an email to MEAT+POULTRY in early July of this year.

Null also affirmed that the new plant will cover 675,000 sq. ft. and process 10,000 head per shift for the initial single-shift operation. The new facility will utilize CAS with the pits dug at the job site. Once operations begin, the plant will employ 1,050 workers.

This year has also seen the beginning of operations at the new Seaboard Triumph Foods pork plant in Sioux City, Iowa. Starting with a single shift, once the Epstein-designed and built facility hits full production it will employ around 1,100 and process about 10,000 market hogs per day. Seaboard Foods and Triumph Foods formed the joint venture to construct the new facility. Seaboard Foods is a subsidiary of Seaboard Corp. with a pork processing plant in Guymon, Oklahoma. Triumph Foods is owned by pork producers with a processing plant in St. Joseph, Missouri.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the new plant, our team, and all the local and state partners that have helped bring this project to completion over the past two years,” said Seaboard Triumph COO Mark Porter. “We are excited to begin commercial operations and supply the most sought-after pork products to our diverse global consumers.”

The plant will produce fresh pork for retail, foodservice and further processing under Seaboard’s PrairieFresh Premium Pork and Seaboard Farms brands, and provide raw materials to Daily’s Premium Meats for raw and precooked bacon products. The Sioux City plant will source approximately 30 percent of the market hogs from regional farmers who operate in alignment with Seaboard Foods’ and Triumph Foods’ animal care and environmental stewardship practices. The remaining hogs will be supplied by Triumph Foods producer-owners and Seaboard Foods’ farms.

Clemens Food Group is another fresh pork producer with a new plant starting operations this year. The company’s new facility in Cold Water, Michigan, has partnered with many experienced, family-owned pork producers. In addition, the plant employs roughly 800 people and covers 650,000 sq. ft.

Designed and built by Gray Engineering Architecture and Construction, the facility’s production is expected to be at full force in late 2017 and process approximately 11,000 hogs per shift.