Construction of Seaboard feed mill complete

Almost a year to the day after breaking ground west of Holyoke, construction for the new Seaboard Foods feed manufacturing facility has been completed.

Roughly 100 people were invited to celebrate the opening of the facility two miles west of Holyoke at an open house Wednesday, May 15. After guests were treated to lunch, tours of the feed mill were offered.

"We are excited to enhance our operations in Colorado with a highly efficient feed mill that will play an important role in our integrated system," Seaboard Foods president and CEO Terry Holton said.

"The feed processed by this plant will maximize nutrition at every stage of animal growth, which supports our continued production of high-quality pork products we sell and distribute throughout the world."

The plant will replace two feed mills located in Yuma and Sedgwick counties. According to Wade Wisdom, director of milling and transportation, the new mill is at a more centralized location between operations near Julesburg and Holyoke. Wisdom also noted that with the mill being visible from the highway, it will gain more exposure.

Mike Benedict, seed mill manager, also noted that the mill will benefit Holyoke by increasing tax revenue in the county and by purchasing water, electricity and gas locally.

Eighteen people will be employed at the new Holyoke feed mill.

When compared to the Yuma and Sedgwick county facilities, the Holyoke facility is much more efficient in design.

The new mill allows Seaboard Foods to produce a smaller grind size, making it easier for pigs to digest the corn. Pelleting is actually a more efficient feed as opposed to the mash feed that was produced at the Yuma and Sedgwick county mills as it helps more with pigs' daily weight gain.

As Seaboard Foods prides itself in its long-standing commitment to sustainability and stewardship, the mill houses state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and features the latest energy-saving and dust-collection technology.

One unique aspect of the mill is the use of a direct-drive pellet mill. The pellet mill includes no gear box so there is no gear reduction, resulting in an estimated 20 percent energy savings.

The Holyoke facility was the first to actually purchase the specific Buhler pellet mill model, and there are only a few more in use in the country.

Also housed in the feed mill are a 300-horsepower boiler, two 30-horsepower air compressors, a two-man personnel lift, a 20-bin micro system, a 6,000-pound cargo lift and a complete plant automation system.

About 200,000 tons of swine feed is expected to be produced for the Colorado-based live operations of the Seaboard Foods integrated system. To support the plant's operations, Seaboard Foods will also purchase nearly 5 million bushels of locally produced grain each year.

The plant has the capacity to receive eight grain trucks an hour and store 4,200 tons of grain at a time, which is about a week's worth. It can store 2,000 tons of ground grain/ingredients and 43,000 gallons of liquid.

With the ability to grind alternative ingredients, the plant will have a 40-ton per hour grinding capacity for grain and 20 tons per hour for other ingredients.

The facility has a mixing capacity of 80 tons an hour and a pelleting capacity of 40-45 tons per hour.

The feed mill is also equipped with blending capabilities. There is a finished feed storage capacity of 1,230 tons and a finished feed loading capacity of seven trucks per hour.

The facility will operate 24 hours a day, five days a week.

All in all, the plant is expected to produce 5,000 tons of feed per week and 260,000 tons per year.

"Seaboard Foods is proud to be a part of communities in northeast Colorado and we look forward to continued success in the region," Holton said.

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. Pork products sold internationally bear the Seaboard Farms® and St. Joe Pork™ brands.

Source: The Holyoke Enterprise

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