Wichita-based Cargill Pork has completed the purchase of a 21,500-acre hog production site near Dalhart, Tex, from the Premium Standard Farms, LCC subsidiary of Smithfield Foods for an estimated $33 million.

The facilities, idle since spring 2010, will produce weaned pigs that will be transferred to the Midwest to be grown out. They will be marketed at Cargill Pork’s meat processing facilities in Beardstown, IL, and Ottumwa, IA.

“In considering this site, we carefully examined factors that are important to us for long-term viability, such as environmental stewardship and animal welfare practices,” states Dirk Jones, president of Cargill Pork. “Evaluation of a strategic decision such as this requires that we consider what is right, and best, for the community, the animals, the environment, our customers and our business.”

The site will be expanded and improved and infrastructure added as needed. The first group of animals produced at the site is expected to be harvested in 2012. The site will employ approximately 272 people.

“Acquisition of the property near Dalhart will allow us to have better control over the health and quality of animals raised for our premium pork programs, while also helping us better control our costs and ensuring a high level of biosecurity that comes with a remote site,” says Jeff Worstell, vice president of livestock production with Cargill Pork. “This is a move that is strategic to our business going forward as global demand for pork continues to increase and we seek ways to improve our productivity, add value for our customers and provide consumers with nutritious protein they enjoy eating.”

For more information, visit www.cargill.com.