Looking toward the future

Jonathan Tosh points at the future sow farm north of McKenzie Wednesday morning. The farm, with multiple buildings, is expected to be completed by August of next year. The new farm will allow a 25 percent expansion of the sow herd. The construction is just one part of a five-year $65 million expansion plan.

BILL MCCUTCHEON

On the heels of two major expansion projects this year, Tosh Farms announced Wednesday plans to invest over $65 million into their operations as well as create 122 new jobs within the next five years.

A family farm since 1913, Tosh Farms is now a corporation with three divisions: Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork and Bacon by Tosh. The business employs over 350 employees to grow high-quality hogs and crops and transport these commodities to packers and distribution sites.

This year alone, Tosh Pork will deliver 720,000 hogs to market with the help of 90 local farmers who act as production partners in raising pigs. Also, the company will purchase over 3 million bushels of corn and soybeans from local farmers in order to produce 286,000 tons of hog feed annually. All feed used to raise Tosh pigs is produced in their feed mill at Henry.

Speaking about the company’s upcoming expansion, Tosh Pork Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Tosh said:

“Our intent is to provide greater opportunities for employees, contribute to the economic development of Henry and surrounding counties, as well as position our company for long-term success.

“We are fortunate to have many hard-working partners in the area,” Tosh continued, “contract growers on the hog side and row crop farmers on the farm side along with many suppliers and vendors who work side-by-side with us.

“Our employees are extremely committed and I could not be more proud of them.”

Tosh expects to add 35 employees at the new sow facility next year along with 10 support staff such as truck drivers, swine technicians and office personnel.

That facility is expected to have 7,500 sows producing 225,000 weaned pigs annually.

At least 20 more production partner farm families are needed to raise those pigs — so there will be a $20 million local investment in new barns.

The expansion will also require 11 million more pounds of feed each month. That, in turn, will require more grain to be purchased from local farmers.

Before the first hog goes to market in January of 2019, Tosh Porks expects to make a $28 million investment in Henry and Carroll Counties.

The on-going annual pork produced by the new sow farm will be about 58 million pounds.

Some 80 local individuals will be employed during construction of the new facilities which will have over 300,000 square feet under roof.

This year, Tosh invested $1 million in a new concrete plant creating ten new jobs. The other major expansion this year was $2.5 million in grain storage and elevator improvements bringing total grain storage capacity to 5.1 million bushels.

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