Tyson Foods Inc plans to spend more than $30 million to add bacon production at its plant in Cherokee IA. Bacon operations at the facility are scheduled to begin by late summer 2006 and will complement production at Tyson's bacon plants in Omaha NE and Vernon TX.
Because of the move to bacon production, ham operations at Cherokee will be shifted to Tyson facilities in Concordia MO and Buffalo NY. This will temporarily reduce Cherokee's workforce of 650 by more than 50 positions over the next few months. However, the company expects to add about 70 jobs when bacon production begins later this year.
Tyson also is discontinuing operations at two facilities in northeast Iowa. The Independence and Oelwein plants, which produce chopped ham and sliced luncheon meats, will close effective March 17.
The Independence facility has 300 workers, covers 126,000 square feet, and has been in operation for more than 50 years. The Oelwein facility employs 90 people, covers 43,000 square feet, and has been operating for 40 years. Equipment from the plants will be removed and either sold or used at other Tyson locations.