Company breaks ground on beef plant, promises jobs for Garden City

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Empirical Foods has broken ground on a new ground beef production facility in Garden City. It will employ about 250 people when it is fully operational.

The company announced the Garden City location last December. It is investing up to $250 million in what it is calling a state-of-the-art plant.

The facility is expected to be operational in 2023. If there is enough demand, Empirical says the facility can be expanded to double production.

“After a long evaluation period to identify the perfect location for our new facility, we were pleased to settle on Garden City and could not have identified a better, more welcoming community,” Nick Roth, president of Empirical Technology, Inc., said in a news release. “The State of Kansas, Garden City and the Finney County Economic Development Corporation have been excellent partners to the beef industry and companies like ours.”

The company has also committed to investing up to $300,000 in a new industrial maintenance program being established at Garden City Community College. Empirical says that will ensure a strong pipeline of qualified staff to operate the company’s advanced machinery.

“Empirical Foods made a smart decision in choosing to do business in a community with so much to offer in excellent schools, infrastructure, and quality-of-life amenities for employees and their families,” Governor Laura Kelly said in a news release. “Projects like this will continue to strengthen our state’s foundation and help us attract more companies, like Empirical, to do business in Kansas.”

Empirical says the design and layout of the plant will be highly effective in reducing worker contact and providing appropriate spacing as the country continues to combat the coronavirus.