Iowa Select Farms has recently announced they are on track to create an estimated 4,700 jobs by the end of next year. This would bring Iowa’s largest pork producer to just shy of 11,000 employees and is also estimated to generate about $1.5 billion of total economic output. According to Dr. Dermot Hayes, a professor in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University (ISU), these numbers as just one of the key findings in a recent study of the company’s growth. Hayes, who used the IMPLAN economic impact analysis model, measured the 2016 and projected 2019 levels of Iowa Select Farms’ direct, indirect and induced employment to arrive at the estimates. “We are and always have been committed to farming in this state at the same time as giving back to Iowans,” says President and CEO, Jeff Hansen. “We’re excited to be investing in rural Iowa and are proud that the benefits of livestock growth can be captured by many of our communities throughout the state.” Sac County Economic Development Director, Brandy Ripley, says that the jobs offered are one way to not only retain the younger population, but to also draw in new young professionals. “They give people an opportunity to thrive in a rural area that offers their family security, safety and a quality of life you can’t experience living in metro areas.” The announcement of the report’s findings come amid the call from grassroots activist group, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) for a moratorium on livestock confinement construction across the state. Just last week, the Calhoun County Board of Supervisors made a recommendation to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the approval of a nearly 7,500-head sow unit near Rockwell City after a second public hearing was held at the request of CCI members. ISF reports that site is expected to generate $4.7 million for the local economy.
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