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Seaboard to construct new feed mill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

Seaboard Foods was scheduled to begin the mobilization portion of construction on a new feed mill west of Holyoke Monday, April 30.

Chris Conrad, manager of milling operations, and Kelly Drees, cell production manager, were guest speakers at the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday, April 24 to explain exactly what is in the plans and to answer questions.

Roughly 23 people were in attendance to listen to the presentation.

With the hopes of offering a more centralized mill to their live operations, Seaboard has chosen an area of land two miles west of Holyoke just north of Highway 6 at County Road 35.

The 33-acre site will be home to the new mill. There will also be a small office building constructed on the site.

Work on a new road and entryway for the new Seaboard mill has been progressing west of Holyoke along Highway 6. County Road 35 has been extended north past the highway to allow entry into the new mill location.  
—Enterprise photo

Conrad said administrative staff from the area will be moved into the new office building at the site.

Work has been done to extend County Road 35 north past the railroad tracks to allow for an entry way and drive access to the mill location. Conrad said they also have storm water initiatives put into place.

Construction on the $13 million project is expected to take about 13 1/2 months and be finished near June 2013.

Currently, Seaboard has two smaller feed mills locally that produce mash. Mash feed is ground corn mixed with other ingredients. The company has found that pellet feed is more beneficial and they see a better feed conversion.

To produce the pellet feed, the mash is mixed with steam in a conditioning chamber. The product is then run through a pellet mill, cooled and dried. This is the biggest driving factor into the new mill construction, according to Conrad.

The plant will produce about 200,000 tons of swine feed for the Colorado-based live operations of the Seaboard Foods integrated system and will purchase about five million bushels of locally produced grain annually to support the plant’s operations.

Seaboard Foods will employ about 25 people at the new facility, and it will replace two feed mills located in Yuma and Sedgwick counties. Conrad said a lot of those employees already exist today.

The state-of-the-art feed manufacturing plant will feature the latest energy-saving and dust-collection technology for feed mills to complement Seaboard Foods’ long-standing commitment to sustainability and stewardship.

Todd & Sargent of Ames, Iowa will serve as the general contractor and will employ up to 60 people during the construction process.

Conrad said the contractor specializes in feed mills, flower mills and grain handling facilities. He said most of their work is done in the United States and Canada. Todd & Sargent has been contracted in the past by Seaboard to construct mills.

It is estimated $700,000 in supplies will be purchased locally throughout the build.

The general contractor will bring in many sub-contractors—some of which will be local, according to Conrad.

Dirt work has been performed west of Holyoke to ready
the location for Seaboard Foods’ new mill.  
—Enterprise photo

There will be roughly 10-12 workers with the general contractor who will spend around a year in the area working on the mill. Conrad said they will most likely be looking for some rental housing and utilizing what Holyoke has to offer, including restaurants and stores.

Conrad said there will be another 30-50 workers needed full time for a year that will most likely be hired locally.

The finished product will run 18 hours a day, producing 3,800 tons of product a week. There will be about 35 trucks in and out of the facility each day, according to Seaboard.

With animal nutrition as one of the 11 points of the Seaboard Foods Quality Circle, the new manufacturing plant will produce proprietary rations designed to maximize nutrition at every stage of animal growth. These highly tailored swine rations optimize pork color, texture and flavor, while specially formulated vitamin packs improve health, creating nutrient-rich pork for consumers and improving pork shelf life, moisture-holding capacity, texture and color.

Seaboard Foods, with headquarters in Shawnee Mission, Kan., is a leading integrated food company and a top exporter of U.S. pork to more than 30 countries. Pork products sold internationally bear the Seaboard Farms® and St. Joe Pork™ brands.

In the United States, Seaboard Foods markets fresh products under the PrairieFresh® Premium Pork brand and processed meats under the Daily’s® Premium Meats brand.

Conrad said roughly four million hogs are produced each year through live production and around five million are processed each year.

As part of the company’s sustainability commitment, Seaboard Foods formed High Plains Bioenergy, a subsidiary committed to creating sustainable energy solutions from the Seaboard Foods integrated system. For more information, visit

Holyoke Chamber of Commerce looking for information

Holyoke Chamber of Commerce is looking to put together a list of local services that can be given to workers who will be in the area for the duration of the build. Contact executive director Mary Tomky at 854-3517 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Holyoke Enterprise May 3, 2012