By LEANN PACHECO
In early 2011 Cargill, Inc. acquired a large hog production site near Dalhart, establishing Cargill Pork as its third company business in the area. Cargill has long enjoyed a presence in the Dalhart community with two other company businesses – Cargill Cattle Feeders and the Cargill Sweet Bran® corn milling facility. Cargill Pork is the fourth largest pork processor in the U.S., and will produce pigs here to be transferred to grow-out facilities in the Midwest after they are weaned.
The sow facility had been idle for over a year, so Cargill began immediate rehabilitation and expansion on barns, other buildings, equipment, and infrastructure. Around 30 company employment positions were initially offered, along with many contract opportunities. General Manager Mike Gruber stated in February of this year that Cargill Pork had hired approximately 80 employees at that time, and will eventually employ around 300 when the farm is fully operational. “Everything is on schedule,” he said, “and we plan to be fully operational and fully staffed within two years.” Gruber also shared that there were around 10,000 sows on site, and stocking and breeding were going as planned.
An update this week from a spokesperson at Cargill Pork headquarters in Wichita, Kan., states that the number of Cargill Pork employees in the Dalhart area has grown to 130. Several employees have been hired that previously worked for Premium Standard Farms.
The company continues to hire and has jobs to fill. Openings include positions in animal production, maintenance, land resources, and lead and supervisor positions.
The herd has grown to 13,000 sows at this time, and will grow to around 66,000 over the next couple of years.
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