Columbus, NE — Cargill celebrated the opening of its new cooked meats facility in Columbus, Neb., marking the completion of a project that began in late 2015. The $111-million project expanded the facility 52,000 square feet – from 108,000 square feet to 160,000 – and converted a fresh ground beef plant to a cooked meats operation, making it a new addition to the company’s portfolio. Employment at the plant will increase from 240 to around 460 due to the conversion.
“The newest and best equipment and technologies to produce cooked ground beef, sausage, hot dogs and other products have been incorporated into our Columbus facility, underscoring our commitment to invest in, and grow, our protein business by better meeting our customer’s needs and expectations,” said Brian Sikes, corporate vice president for Wichita-based Cargill told a reporter from Meat + Poultry. “We take a great deal of pride in knowing this facility, located in America’s heartland, will help us achieve our goal to nourish people in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.”
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts participated in the event, noting how the expansion project involved a job training grant and a partnership between the company, NE Department of Labor, Central Community College-Columbus and other local education groups.
“This is the kind of positive teamwork we want to foster all across our state. How we get things done is through our people. This (plant) is creating so many opportunities for Columbus families,” he said. “It was the kind of investment that makes Cargill such a great company.”
Cargill is served electrically by Cornhusker Public Power District, a wholesale customer of Nebraska Public Power District.