Filling the tummies of 1 million hogs annually requires a lot of grain, and Cargill’s new $29 million Hedrick, Iowa, feed mill is up to the task. Operating 24-hours- a-day, six-days-a-week, the 15-story-tall mill’s 14 employees will produce 350,000 tons of feed annually, destined for the more than 100 family-owned farms that raise hogs for Cargill throughout the region.
Within a 20-minute drive from Hedrick is Cargill’s pork processing facility at Ottumwa, Iowa, where Cargill Inc., Minneapolis, completed another $25 million-plus project. Combined, these 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,” says Jane Fallon, Cargill Pork general manager. “It’s always exciting to see the investments we make turn into long-term job creation. These projects represent our commitment to the state’s agricultural economy, and illustrate our long heritage for helping communities and farmers to thrive while enhancing our ongoing efforts to provide high-quality protein to nourish millions of Americans and consumers around the world.”
The feed mill will load and unload approximately 100 trucks daily, one every 10 minutes, annually converting about 6 million bushels of locally grown corn to highly nutritious feed for farms in a 35-mile radius. Building the feed mill required 12,500 square yards of concrete, 340 tons of steel rebar in the mill structure alone and an average of 75 workers to complete the job with a near-perfect safety record.
“We are proud about the feed mill we built here, and want to show off the facility that will serve the region for many decades to come,” adds Fallon. “Cargill was founded in Iowa 150 years ago, and we look forward to our next 150 years of helping communities thrive and contributing to the state’s vibrant agricultural economy.”
Cargill’s Ottumwa pork processing plant sits on a 10-acre site, has more than half a million square feet under roof, employs more than 2,300 people and harvests 18,000-19,000 hogs daily. It is one of two large pork processing facilities owned by Cargill, with the other located in Beardstown, Ill. The Ottumwa facility’s expansion of its bacon production capabilities doubles daily bacon output.
“People love bacon, and we see demand continuing to increase,” says 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.”
“Cargill has been making investments to help nourish people for 150 years,” says Mike Luker, president of Cargill Pork, based in Wichita, Kan. “With the planet’s population headed for 9 billion people by 2050, it is important to us that we produce high-quality, nutritious, affordable protein in the most sustainable way possible. We always strive to be better and improve the way we do things large and small. These investments in our pork business in Iowa will help us continue to responsibly meet the needs of our customers and consumers, now and in the future.”