Smithfield Foods, Inc., Smithfield, Va., announced plans to invest nearly $45 million and add 70 new jobs to its Sioux Falls, S.D., operations. The investment includes renovating a high-speed bacon line, a ground seasoned pork operation and the distribution center, as well as the rebuilding of a facility that houses more than 8,000 hogs. This investment and expansion will help Smithfield meet the increasing domestic demand for bacon and international demand for ground seasoned pork.

“At Smithfield, we’re committed to our continual investment in our facilities and farms in Sioux Falls,” says Kenneth Sullivan, president and CEO. “In the past five years, we have invested more than $73 million into our operations in South Dakota, which positively impacts the local economy. With these new projects, we’re proud to further strengthen our presence in this state.”

The renovations, on track to be completed by May 2019, will improve the volume, yield and quality of the bacon produced by the facility.

Once complete, it will be dubbed as the most modern operation in the industry, incorporating the latest technology for automated packaging, boxing, labeling and stacking.

“Export markets are key for the continued growth of all U.S. hog producers and pork processors,” says Jason Richter, president of the international group. “This new project further positions the company to meet the demands of consumers in these key markets, benefitting our national and local economies, including creating new jobs in Sioux Falls.”

Smithfield is also renovating its hog barn, which will be complete in early fall 2019. The new barn’s features and design will reflect leading animal handling practices, including automatic climate control systems.

The Sioux Falls facility was built in 1909 and produces fresh pork, ready-to-cook bacon, deli meats, hot dogs and smoked hams.