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Cargill To Keep Meat And Protein Division In Wichita

Cargill_0.jpg
Sean Sandefur
/
KMUW

After considering sites in both Texas and Colorado, Cargill will be keeping its meat and protein division headquarters, and 800 employees, in Wichita.

  

The Minnesota-based agriculture, energy and pharmaceutical company currently operates its Meat Solutions division out of a 110,000-square-foot building in downtown Wichita.

Cargill announced in March its desire to build a new headquarters for its meat and protein division, and Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell says he was worried that the company would hit the road.

“We have different areas of the country trying to lure our businesses away all the time. And [they] often offer them a lot more money than we can offer them,” Longwell said.

He added that Cargill choosing Wichita “validates the fact the Wichita is a great place to grow a business.”

Brian Sikes, corporate vice president for Cargill, says they received attractive incentive packages from other cities, and that, in general, cities will offer more money to attract a business than to retain one. But he says they’re staying in Wichita for its workforce and the company’s position within the mid-sized city.

“If we’re in Dallas, we’d be one of hundreds of companies. Here, we can influence, in a positive way, our community,” Sikes said.

Gov. Sam Brownback, who attended Cargill’s announcement, praised city and county leaders for their efforts to retain such an important agricultural company.

Longwell says the city didn’t offer cash for Cargill to stay, but will look at tax incentives and the possibility of building a joint parking garage in the future.

Cargill wants a larger facility with more employees when they finally move, which is expected to happen by 2018.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter, @SeanSandefur

 

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