Officials from Farmland Foods and Smithfield Foods will be in Denison this (Wednesday) afternoon to announce plans for expanding the Farmland pork processing plant there. Farmland says it will announce a significant investment in the Denison facility that will bring new jobs to the community. Several dignitaries have been invited to the event including U.S. Congressman Steve King of Kiron and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge. In April, Farmland president George Richter said plans were in the works to expand the Denison plant’s value-added processing capacity by 60-percent and create between 200 and 225 new jobs. Rickter says one goal was to have less reliance on selling “fresh” pork at low margins, giving themselves the ability to process the pork into items like ham, bacon and sausage instead of bellies and other “raw” products. He says the objective is to increase the value of the items coming out of the facility through a “major” renovation. Richter also said the cost would be “considerably north” of 25-million dollars. Earlier this month, the Iowa Department of Economic Development announced it was awarding Farmland expanded enterprise zone benefits for the Denison plant because it was competing for a 77-million dollar expansion project.
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