Sioux City wins Seaboard Triumph pork plant

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Seaboard Triumph Foods, a joint venture of Seaboard Farms and Triumph Foods, will build a $264 million pork processing plant in Sioux City that will employ more than 1,000 workers.

The company has agreed to purchase a 250-acre site in the Bridgeport West Industrial Park just north of the airport near the Missouri River. Groundbreaking is planned this fall, and the plant is scheduled to become operational mid-2017.

The project will provide about 1,200 temporary construction jobs to build the 600,000-square-foot plant. Permanent jobs at the facility will ramp up over time, with a first shift employing 902 production workers and 208 administrative and management positions. If market conditions create sufficient demand, a second shift of 900 workers could be added in the future, along with $50 million in additional capital investment, according to Triumph Foods CEO Mark Campbell.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority will grant the company tax incentives amounting to $13.2 million through the High Quality Jobs Program and the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax program. As a condition to the agreement, Seaboard Triumph will pay an average starting wage of $15 per hour plus benefits for production workers and $53,000 per year plus benefits for management and administrative positions.

Seaboard Triumph has agreed to buy the property from the city at a cost of $21,500 per acre, or a total just under $5.4 million. Under a separate deal with the city, the owners will accept a $100 million minimum property assessment and the city will grant a tax abatement of $7.7 million for the first five years, based on a diminishing schedule. During that time, the city will collect about $10 million in tax revenue on the property.

Siting the project in an area that is accepting of the industry was a factor in the decision to locate in Sioux City, according to Terry Holton, Seaboard Foods President and CEO. Sioux City has a long history as a meat packing town and was once home to one of the largest stockyards in the country. City officials began the courtship with Seaboard Triumph in the hope of replacing the John Morrell Company, which shut down its outdated pork plant in Sioux City in 2010.

According to an article in the Sioux City Journal, the company has promised a state-of-the-art facility designed with technologies to mitigate odors. The design will be similar to that of the plant Triumph built in St. Joseph, Missouri in 2006, the most recent new pork slaughter plant built in the U.S.

The facility will provide a new market for independent pork producers in the region. The company expects to slaughter 10,000 to 12,000 hogs per day, or about three million per year. Ancillary businesses will be called on for cold storage and distribution services and a wide range of materials and supplies.

According to local officials, the plant will generate about $48 million a year in new payroll in the city. Much of that will fuel a need for new housing. The demand for rental properties will help to replace a fall-off anticipated in that market when CF Industries completes its ongoing plant expansion in Port Neal about 15 miles down Interstate Highway 29.

With an unemployment rate steady at 4.4 percent in the area, plant and city officials anticipate a need to recruit new labor.

Source: Sioux City Journal

Source: Iowa Economic Development Authority

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Jeannie Oliver

Jeannie Oliver is a writer and PR practitioner with a long string of awards behind her name. With a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, Jeannie has worked as a high school journalism teacher, an editor for the Appaloosa Journal, and a media spokesperson for...