Cargill, Wichita, Kan., officially opened the doors to its $111 million cooked meats facility in Columbus, Neb. Announced in late 2015, the project to convert Cargill’s fresh ground beef plant to a cooked meats operation adds capabilities the company previously did not have, provides new and existing customers with an expanded portfolio of protein offerings and nearly doubles employment at the facility.

“The newest and best equipment and technologies to produce cooked ground beef, sausage, hot dogs and other products have been incorporated into our Columbus facility, underscoring our commitment to invest in and grow our protein business by better meeting our customers’ needs and expectations,” says Brian Sikes, corporate vice president for Cargill Protein. “We take a great deal of pride in knowing this facility, located in America’s heartland, will help us achieve our goal to nourish people in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.” 

In addition to the facility’s new capabilities, employment will nearly double, from approximately 240 prior to the conversion to around 460.

As a result of the conversion project, the size of Cargill’s Columbus cooked meats facility expanded nearly 50% to 160,000 square feet.