Wholestone Farms, a farmer-owned pork processor is scheduled to begin construction of a new, state-of-the-art pork harvest and processing facility, valued at more than $500 million, later this year. The project, which is expected to be complete some time in 2025, will initially employ over 1,100 people.
As part of the project, Wholestone plans to build a $45 million wastewater treatment system, including covered lagoons, which will be designed to capture biogas and reduce overall carbon emissions of operations, while managing air quality and minimizing odor. Livestock delivery trucks will also be scheduled and staged to minimize odor, and a truck wash is planned on-site. Stormwater management will include stopgap measures to virtually eliminate the impact of major rain events.
The project also will include a modern rendering facility, designed with technology and operational practices, such as wet scrubbers and thermal oxidation, to reduce odors.
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Wholestone Farms already has a plant, located in Fremont, Neb., that’s owned by the producers who supply hogs to it. The group collectively farms 500,000 acres of crop ground and raises 12 million pigs annually. The plant currently operates on one shift and processes 2.8 million head a year. Wholestone Farms plans to add a second shift and double its production at the Fremont plant in 2023.
Wholestone was established in 2016 by Minnesota-based Pipestone and the producers it serves. A 75-year-old business that began as a large-animal veterinary practice, it evolved to add include management of sow farms. Its services today include production-driven research, nutrition management, animal health, record keeping and marketing services designed around supporting family farming operations.