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Pig City: Add Wholestone Slaughterhouse, and 1 in 10 Wieners Would Come from Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls—Wieners for the World!

Trevor Mitchell does some math and says doubling Sioux Falls’s slaughterhouses could lead to nearly one tenth of America’s pork coming from Sioux Falls:

If Wholestone Farms’ proposed Sioux Falls plant comes to fruition and reaches its full potential, Sioux Falls could be responsible for nearly 10% of the country’s pork processing by the end of the decade.

That’s according to the United States Department of Agriculture, which says a total of 129 million hogs were processed nationally in 2021.

…The expectation, once both shifts are up and running, is that the plant could process about 6 million hogs per year.

“In the pork industry, it’s significant,” said Luke Minion, board chairman for Wholestone.

Indeed, that’s in the same realm as Smithfield Foods’ Sioux Falls plant, which is already responsible for about 5% of the nation’s pork production [Trevor Mitchell, “Sioux Falls Could Process Nearly 10% of the Country’s Pork Between Wholestone, Smithfield,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.09.25].

But just in case he still needs voters to approve his slaughterhouse, Minion emphasizing that Wholestone is just an itty-bitty local David compared to Smithfield’s national Goliath:

Still, Minion repeatedly noted that while their Sioux Falls capacity might be similar, Smithfield remains a much larger, national company compared to Wholestone’s footprint, which is currently just their plant in Fremont, Nebraska. That plant, too, is expected to add a second shift in 2024 that would increase capacity to 6 million hogs a year.

“We’re not even a third of Smithfield’s size,” Minion said.

Even as their website notes they’re the 10th largest pork producer in the country, Minion said that JBS, Smithfield Foods, Tyson and Seaboard Foods dominate the pork industry.

“We’re still small relative to the competition,” he said [Mitchell, 2022.09.25].

Early voting began Friday, so folks can go to the Minnehaha County Administration Building today and cast their vote to make Sioux Falls into America’s Abe Froman!

15 Comments

  1. jim 2022-09-26

    That’s right. Pig City. Or Hog Town or maybe Swineville.

    Sioux Falls will be a joke if they add another huge slaughterhouse (or two) to the city. Don’t let them do it. Show them who’s boss. Vote!

  2. Donald Pay 2022-09-26

    This is a national security issue. When you place that amount of pork production in one small area you endanger the food security of the United States.

    If a tornado comes through Sioux Falls that wipes out production at Smithfield and Wholestone, you have just put much of the United States in a very shaky position. Same things could happen with an extended power outage. At best you have an inflationary spike until other producers elsewhere increase their production, or things come back on line at the plants.

    It’s really stupid to concentrate production to such a degree in one spot. It’s the exact opposite of what the United States should be doing with their meat production. It’s far, far too concentrated as is, and this just makes things worse.

    I have no problem with the Wholestone operation if it is properly sited. It would be far better to disperse these plants over distance. That is better for the environment and better for our national security.

  3. Dicta 2022-09-26

    Best. Title. Ever. As one of those wieners, I salute you.

  4. P. Aitch 2022-09-26

    Cory can’t use the words but I sure as Hades can. PINK SLIME. Most of the world’s PINK SLIME (produced and sold as a filler in hot dogs) is by BPI in Dakota Dunes, SD, home to guess who? Add the slime production to pork production and you’ve got numbers that will make SD a leader in the low-grade animal protein industry.
    Then, add the wiener meat and PINK SLIME to the nearly inedible Mozzarella (for cheap frozen pizzas) made by Valley Queen, Saputo, and Kasemeister and your state now has a “National Brand”.
    Ain’t ‘cha proud of being where sh**ty food come from?

  5. jim 2022-09-26

    Do we know whether Governor Noem or Sioux Falls officials gave financial incentives to Wholestone to locate there? Have they been asked about that? I noticed that Noem is bragging about providing “grants” to ninety-nine small meat processors. Hmm.

    Where did the funding for the small businesses came from? Covid money? Why meat processors? Or could there be some connection to Wholestone? I don’t know but I am curious.

  6. Dicta 2022-09-26

    P Aitch: Pink slime is nonsense. Butchering is an inefficient process. In order to seperate the remaining beef, BPI came up with a centrifugal process that separated the beef from the bone. Because of the speed this occurs, it gives the meat an admittedly icky texture. But it is beef. They sprayed it with a mixture and highly diluted ammonia to ensure no bacteria were able to survive and create food born illnesses. The ABC news report that came out did so on sweeps and they rode that to untold millions of dollars on the most inflammatory title they could come up with. You may not like it or want it in your kitchen, but using as much as possible of the animal is both good for the environment and the poor as it drives beef costs lower. Enjoy your risotto, or whatever other food isn’t beneath your refined palate. Some people aren’t that fortunate.

  7. Bob K 2022-09-26

    Dicta – so they’re using beef rather than pork in pink slime? If so, none is being produced in SF.

  8. Mark Anderson 2022-09-26

    This could be an opportunity. Compete with the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in Brooklyn. Come on Sioux Falls get your own contest and you can also compete with Sioux City for worst smelling interstate city. It’s a win, win.

  9. Dicta 2022-09-26

    Correct, BPI did not produce it in Sioux Falls. I just responded to some inapposite point Aitch made.

  10. P. Aitch 2022-09-26

    Dicta, or whatever name you’re posting under today, young man. Isn’t it hard to dance with that stick up your ass? Using centrifugal action to strip beef bones is a worthy way to produce dog food. Dousing this stripped beef, which comes from floor scraps, with ammonia to kill whatever was growing on the floor, labeling it as lean finely textured beef or LFTB, finely textured beef, or boneless lean beef trimmings or BLBT and secretly selling it to people without people knowing was the scandal. The scandal wasn’t ABC disclosing BPI’s secret way to sell dog meat to humans.
    It’s hard to follow your opinions but your bad taste seems obvious. You’re no smarter than you were ten years ago. Just grumpier.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-27

    Jim, those grants to small meat processors and Noem’s comments about not wanting any more thieving packers seem to stand in conflict with her stated support for the new packing plant and her opposition to the public vote. However, I am not aware of any state incentives going to Wholestone yet. Let’s watch those GOED reports….

  12. Dicta 2022-09-27

    “A worthy way to produce dog food.” Maybe Im uptight, but at least Im not some arrogant ponce. Say hi to your gerbil for me.

  13. Dicta 2022-09-27

    As an aside: ABC settled with BPI for a massive sum. For those who actually care about the facts.

  14. P. Aitch 2022-09-27

    Clever DaveDicta … Last word is yours.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-28

    Regardless of the pinkness and sliminess of the material Smithfield, Wholestone, BPI, and others shove into their casings or smack into patties, we should note that a second slaughterhouse would double Sioux Falls’s dependence on an industry that produces enormous amounts of sewage at CAFOs across the plains, further endangering water quality and air quality. A quarter of the total greenhouse gas emissions from pork production come from all that pig poop. Along with actually enforcing water quality regulations, the state should perhaps require Wholestone to invest in manure digesters to convert that poop into energy.

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