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Cargill breaks ground on $50M Ohio premix plant

LEWISBURG, Ohio — Cargill broke ground on a $50 million premix and nutrition plant in Lewisburg last week. The 220,000 square-foot facility will sit on the same site as Cargill’s current operation.

The expansion will be completed in the spring of 2019 and will result in a dozen new jobs in the area.

“This state-of-the-art facility will better help us meet evolving customer needs and preferences for antibiotic-free meat, milk and eggs products,” said Dean Barker, business operations director for Cargill’s premix and nutrition business in the United States. “Given these consumer preferences, it is important for us to invest in new and enhanced manufacturing capabilities.”

The plant will make products that contain concentrated vitamins and minerals, different types of amino acids and other ingredients and additives, Barker said. These are then blended into a premix and sold to companies that make complete feeds for poultry, pigs, dairy and beef cattle. The facility will have four production lines and manufacture roughly 86,000 tons of animal nutrition products a year.

“If you look at the side of a cereal box you see a lot of vitamins and minerals,” Barker explained. “We put those kinds of things together, and then that is added to the grains that the animals consume so they get the required amount of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.”

This will be Cargill’s first medicated-free blending facility in the United States, he said. It will allow the company to enter the pet food segment, which will only buy products from facilities that are totally medicated-free.

The facility will have a new level of micro-dosing precision, he said. It will be highly automated, and that will allow a greater level of accuracy. The micro-dosing system will automatically weigh the concentrated ingredients in the correct amounts and add them to the mix.

“Accuracy is very important,” Barker noted. “The precision of the nutrients that go in can make the difference between good performance and bad performance in livestock and poultry. The higher level of accuracy at the plant will also lead to increased food safety.”

This plant will support Cargill’s Provimi brand of animal nutrition products. The company’s existing facility on the site will produce medicated products important to maintaining animal health and well-being. Cargill felt it was important to have separate facilities to ensure product quality for consumers, Barker said.

“Cargill’s expansion in Lewisburg is exciting news for our community,” said state Rep. Jeffrey Rezabek of House District 43. “They employ many members of our community, and this investment only furthers their commitment to Lewisburg and Preble County as a whole. I look forward to working with them in the future to continue to create a business-friendly environment.”

Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and service to the world. It has 155,000 employees in 70 countries. Its animal nutrition business has more than 20,000 employees at more than 275 facilities in 40 countries. The U.S. Provimi brand is headquartered in Brookville, Ohio, (near Lewisburg) and has more than 400 employees at seven locations.