Hopeful Sioux Falls Pork Plant Addresses Housing, Environmental Concerns
The CEO of a farmer-owned pork processing company told the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary that the city is the perfect location for its second plant.
Scott Webb said Wholestone Farms is working on the permitting process while addressing concerns about staffing, housing and the environment.
Wholestone hopes to begin building its modern, $500 million plant next spring. It wants to start hiring in 2025 before eventually filling about 2,500 positions.
Webb said Sioux Falls is a convenient location for Wholestone’s farmers, who mostly live in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. The site near Interstate 229 and Benson Road ensures easy access to highways.
But Webb understands there are challenges when it comes to filling jobs during a staffing and housing shortage.
“We want to work with the community and be part of the solution. And the housing is probably the bigger concern more so than the labor I would say,” he said.
Webb said he believes more workers will arrive as Sioux Falls grows -- enough to fill jobs at Wholestone and the existing Smithfield plant.
He said the company will partner with builders and investors to create affordable housing, something it’s starting to do at its current plant in Freemont, Nebraska.
The company will build a wastewater treatment plant while aiming to be carbon neutral or negative, Webb said. Wholestone will have a modern rendering facility that helps control odor. Covered lagoons will also help with odor while capturing and reusing methane gas.