TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly Thursday announced the groundbreaking for a new Empirical Foods ground beef facility in Garden City.
The planned facility, which is now the largest single investment in the company’s 40-year history, will bring 250 new jobs and more than $250 million in capital investment to Garden City and Finney County.
“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. “Projects like this will continue to strengthen our state’s foundation and help us attract more companies, like Empirical, to do business in Kansas.”
Secretary of Commerce David Toland joined company officials at the Garden City site for a groundbreaking on Thursday morning.
“This major investment is another huge win in our state’s effort to secure our food systems, now and into the future,” Secretary Toland said. “Empirical Foods is a terrific company with high standards of excellence. This is an exciting day for this company, for Garden City and for our state.”
Empirical Foods’ decision to expand comes as the result of increased demand for lean ground beef, requiring a significant boost in processing and manufacturing. When the location is fully operational, the Garden City facility will more than double Empirical’s ground beef production.
“The Kansas agriculture strategic growth project has identified expansion of value-added beef processing in Kansas as a desired outcome,” Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam said. “The investment of this facility helps to further solidify Kansas’ role and reputation as a recognized leader in the beef industry.”
“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. “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.”
Construction on the plant is expected to be finished between 2022 and 2023.