Growth of Cargill should be welcomed by Webster County, Fort Dodge

Community is fortunate to be home of expanding facility

The Cargill plant in Webster County is beginning a $50 million growth spurt.

When it is done sometime in 2024, the plant will begin making corn syrup for the first time. That will be a nice addition to a product line that already includes dextrose, ethanol, feed for cattle, corn gluten meal fed to poultry, corn germ and a molasses like substance called corn steep liquor. The corn syrup will be the first food-grade product to come from the plant.

The project will not be a big creator of new jobs, but it will enable many current Cargill employees to train for more complex jobs which will in turn get them nice raises.

The Webster County and Fort Dodge community is lucky to have Cargill in its midst and even more fortunate that the local plant was the one chosen for expansion. The company is a a huge global operation that has literally hundreds of plants where it could have placed its new corn syrup operation. The company chose Webster County and Fort Dodge.

Cooperation between the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, and the state, county and city governments helped to make this possible. That level of collaboration has become the standard here, but there was a time when it was just about unimaginable.

Getting a new product line here is important for a couple of reasons. More products makes the plant more viable and helps to secure its future here. A plant that makes a number of things can keep on going even if the demand for one of them weakens.

Having another product line may also someday lay the groundwork for more economic development right nearby. Cargill has a track record of developing over-the-fence customers located nearby that use the products of its plants. An example of that can be found right here in Webster County, where CJ Bio America gets material from Cargill and uses it to make the amino acids lysine and threonine, which are added to feed for swine and poultry. CJ Bio America also makes a liquid soil amendment.

Area residents should welcome the growth of Cargill and recognize how lucky we are to have the company in our community.


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