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Illinois pork producers laud plans for processing facility
By TIM ALEXANDER
Illinois Correspondent

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Plans for a new, state-of-the-art pork processing plant in East Moline have received the blessing of the Illinois Pork Producers Assoc. (IPPA).

“This is good news for pork producers and the pork industry in Illinois,” said IPPA Executive Director Jim Kaitschuck, of the new facility to be constructed by Triumph Foods, LLC, which is a conglomerate of owner-members who are Midwest pork producers.

“We believe that the Triumph Foods plant will continue to help sustain the Quad City region (and) hog production in Illinois, and that it will be seen as a respected business in the years to come.”

According to news sources, the St. Joseph, Mo.-based Triumph will invest $136 to $160 million in building the plant, which will process upwards of 1,000 hogs per hour or four million-head per year. It will provide around 1,000 jobs for the area and some $28 million in payroll. Owners say the plant’s construction will commence sometime in 2007 with an estimated completion date of 2009. According to the IPPA, the pork industry currently contributes $1.9 billion and 18,500 jobs to the state’s economy - figures that will only rise once Triumph’s Ill. plant is up and running.

“Illinois is fortunate to have several other pork processing plants that are considered assets to their community,” Kaitschuck said. “IPPA has maintained a good relationship with these existing facilities and plans to continue to foster those partnerships.”

Kaitschuck said pork processors must meet numerous environmental regulations to build and operate a pork processing facility, and Triumph will have to meet strict federal and state environmental guidelines.

“There has been much misinformation circulating about perceived negative impacts of a pork processing plant. Just as pork production technology and techniques have improved over the years, so have the technologies used in pork processing. Modern, state-of-the-art plants such as the proposed Triumph plant have adopted innovative, automated processes to eliminate odors and ensure environmental quality,” Kaitschuck said. “Illinois pork producers and the pork industry are committed to providing a safe, quality, affordable protein source, while caring for the environment, being a good neighbor, and adding economic development.”

Triumph is currently putting the finishing touches on its first plant in St. Joseph. Industry analysts have said the upstart company has been ambitious in announcing plans to begin construction of a second plant so soon, but that the company apparently has enough start-up capital to make the venture work.

This farm news was published in the June 7, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

6/7/2006