Clemens pork processing plant leading to more expansions

Hog production has been steadily expanding in the Eastern Corn Belt with the first new hog processing facility in the region in more than 25 years set to open by Labor Day.

The Clemens Food Group’s 650,000 square foot fresh pork processing plant in Coldwater, near the Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio border, will process up to 10,000 pigs from surrounding states per day.

For Michigan, Department of Agriculture Director Jamie Clover Adams tells Brownfield that’s meant a growing number of new pork farms seeking Right to Farm protections.  “With the Clemens Food processing plant coming online this year there will be more hog facilities here in Michigan and we just wanted to be sure that the department could provide efficient service to farmers as they added hogs for the plant.”  The department was granted additional funding this year in the state budget for three additional staff help farmers adopt Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs) which promote sound environmental stewardship on Michigan farms.

USDA says the nation’s hogs and pigs inventory in June increased three percent from last year and was the highest on record at 71.7 million head. Indiana and Ohio’s pig inventory both increased by 150,000 in June report Michigan’s dropped by 30,000 which is back to a more normal level.

Last year Michigan Pork Producers Association Executive Director Mary Kelpinski told Brownfield the spike in 2016 was because of improved reporting efficiencies and reduced disease outbreaks on farms.

AUDIO: Interview with Director Jamie Clover Adams

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