SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Adding a second pork producing plant in Sioux Falls; the new proposal by Wholestone Farms, a farmer-owned company, would bring a $500 million dollar processing facility to the south east corner of I-229 and Benson road.
“175 acres is what we purchased here,” Wholestone Farms Chairman of the board Luke Minion said.
Wholestone Farms is just weeks away from closing on the sale of this massive property along Interstate 229 that will become a hub for pork producers across KELOLAND.
“A lot of our farmers are within 50 to 75 miles, so they do business here, their farms are here, when you’re talking about a processing plant, geography and freight makes a big difference,” Minion said.
“We starting raising hogs back to my great grandfather,” South Dakota Pork Council President Shane Odegaard said.
Odegaard’s family runs a hog operation by Lake Preston and currently markets nearly all of his hogs at Smithfield in Sioux Falls.
“A lot of that has to do with location and the logistics of being only 90 miles from our operation,” Odegaard said.
But Wholestone Farms aims to give area producers another option to market their product.
“We’ve been in South Dakota quite a few years with only one facility to process our pigs and with a second one coming to the area, it will be a good thing for South Dakota pig farmers,” Odegaard said.
“Today I would say there has been in general more pigs than plants and that’s left farmers sometimes not getting what we think is the right amount of value in the chain,” Minion said.
The Wholestone plant is still a year away from breaking ground and won’t be operational until at least 2025, but the prospect of this new processing plant is not only big news for pork producers, but the Sioux Falls economy.
“This project will have a facility that will harvest 3 million pigs on one 8 hour shift, and its about a $500 million expense to build the plant and it will employ about 1100 people on a single shift,” Minion said. “These jobs pay quite well, on the day shift in a brand new facility, state of the art robotics, automation, these are good jobs. We think we’ll have a strong value proposition and get the plant staffed.”
The South Dakota Pork Council says this additional processing facility provides the infrastructure needed to help grow the pork industry in South Dakota, opening opportunities for more family farms to start their own hog operations.