As Triumph Foods puts the finishing touches on its St. Joseph, MO, pork-processing plant, the pork producer-owned company announced plans late last year to build a second plant in East Moline, IL. That plant will cost $136-160 million to build and process 1,000 hogs/hour, or four million head/year, the same as its St. Joseph plant.

Although the issue faced a great deal of public opposition, East Moline City Council members unanimously approved a redevelopment agreement with Triumph, including about $20 million in incentives, according to local development authorities.

Triumph's Jerry Lehenbauer, vice president of hog procurement and genetic operations, says Triumph is now working with the state of Illinois on several state incentive programs. Once those agreements are completed, the company will move forward with engineering and design work. The plant opening is targeted for 2009.

The Quad City Development Group, which helped lure Triumph to East Moline, touted the 1,000 new jobs and $28 million payroll as the largest development project in the Illinois-Iowa Quad Cities area in 30 years.

Triumph indicated the East Moline location was chosen because of its large available workforce, central location and great road and air access. Triumph estimates up to 30% of the facility's pork products will be exported to Japan.

Triumph Foods owners include Christensen Family Farms, Eichelberger Farms, the Hanor Company, New Fashion Pork and Tri-Oak Foods, plus Allied Producers Cooperative, a group of smaller, independent producers.

Lehenbauer says the majority of hogs supplied to the new plant would come from current Triumph owner-members.

European Union Urged to Cut Tariffs

The European Union's (EU) stand on agricultural tariffs was regarded as “untenable” and “holding hostage” current World Trade Organization talks in Hong Kong, according to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

NPPC international trade counsel Nick Giordano urged the EU to reduce its agricultural duties, particularly for pork.

The EU protects its producers through quotas, high tariffs and numerous non-science-based health restrictions on imports.

Canadian Leader Passes Away

Frank Aherne, North Saanich, British Columbia, internationally recognized swine nutrition and management specialist, professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, passed away on Dec. 6, 2005.

Aherne's service to the North American pork industry spanned nearly three decades through his research, teaching and extension work at the University of Alberta. He authored over 160 papers in refereed journals, numerous chapters in books, many conference proceedings and extension-type publications, in addition to several articles for National Hog Farmer.

Aherne served the National Research Council committee on swine nutrient requirements through two separate terms and on the editorial boards of the Canadian Journal of Animal Science and the American Society of Animal Science's Journal of Animal Science.

In 2003, the Dr. Frank Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production was launched in his name. The awards are presented during the Banff Pork Seminar held in Banff, Alberta in January.

Aherne died following a six-week battle with heart disease.

NPPC Prevails in Mexican Anti-Dumping Trade Case

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is applauding the decision by the government of Mexico to drop its antidumping case on unprocessed hams from the United States.

In June 2004, Mexico filed an anti-dumping case in response to Mexican pork producers' charges of unfair prices on U.S. hams.

“Mexico should never have initiated the case in the first place,” says NPPC President Don Buhl, a pork producer from Tyler, MN. “The U.S. pork industry did not, and will not, dump ham or any pork product onto the Mexican market. We sell hams to Mexico because it is very profitable.”