Smithfield subsidiary Farmland Foods Inc has announced an $81m expansion of its pork processing facility in Denison, Iowa, that is expected to add 219 new jobs when the facility is completed in the late summer of 2007.

The Denison plant currently employs 1,500 workers producing fresh pork, hams and bacon.

Construction is underway on a 165,000-square-foot addition to the state- of-the-art Denison facility, which will allow for additional processing capacity for smoked sausage, ham slicing and hot dogs.  The expansion also will provide space for the processing of an additional 1,150 hogs per day, raising the plant capacity to 10,350 from the current 9,200 hogs per day.

“Farmland Foods’ Denison expansion will not only provide more jobs for Denison, but it will give added market capacity to the region’s pork producers. The people in Denison have known for years that they have the best in development opportunity for business and the best to offer in quality of life,” said congressman Steve King.

“Demand for Farmland products has steadily increased. Our customers appreciate the difference in quality — this has a lot to do with the people we have in Denison,” said George Richter, president and chief operating officer of Farmland Foods. “This expansion will contribute to the economic stability of Denison, and we’re very pleased about that,” Richter said. “We’re proud of the workforce here, and Farmland looks forward to being a part of the Denison community for a long time to come.”

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“Smithfield Foods is proud of its presence in Iowa and its contributions to the state’s economy,” said C. Larry Pope, president and chief operating officer of Smithfield Foods. Smithfield is Farmland’s parent company. “We have 3,884 employees in the state and a payroll last year of $116m. With our acquisition of Farmland Foods and strong internal growth, in just the last three years we have added 1,787 employees and
$54m to our Iowa payroll,” he said.

“Farmland Foods is our largest employer and a valued member of our business community. We are very excited about the prospect of another 219 jobs in Denison,” said Mayor Ken Livingston. “Farmland has made major contributions to a better quality of life in our community and this announcement is great news for our economic development efforts and the economic health of our community as a whole.”