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Superior Farms plans new lamb processing plant

Tim Hearden

Capital Press

Superior Farms, the nation's largest lamb producer, held a ceremonial groundbreaking on a new 50,000-square-foot processing facility in Dixon, Calif., that the company says will save water and electricity.

Capital Press

DIXON, Calif. — The nation’s largest lamb producer has unveiled plans for a new processing plant here, promising to use green technologies to save water and electricity.

Superior Farms will build its new 50,000-square-foot processing plant next to its existing facility, which was built in the 1920s and acquired when the company opened its California plant in 1981.

The existing plant will keep operating until the completion of the new one, which company officials say will use the best in ergonomics, natural lighting and wind power to reduce its water use by an estimated 20 percent and total energy consumption by 45 percent.

“We are right-sizing this facility, meaning we’re building the plant to be more efficient and appropriate for the number of livestock coming through today,” vice president of operations Shane MacKenzie said in prepared remarks.

Superior held a groundbreaking celebration on April 25 with about a dozen dignitaries, about 100 of its employees and other guests. The 50-year-old company employs more than 400 people in California and Colorado and its plant supports local ranchers and 4-H and FFA students, spokeswoman Ginny Hair said.

Superior processes and returns thousands of lambs each year for 4-H and FFA students, as the company separates and handles each lamb and returns each product to be sold to offset the cost of college tuition, a news release explains.

The new facility will feature several processing rooms, refrigerated coolers and freezer space, employee areas, training rooms, warehouse and distribution docks, livestock yards and office space, according to the release.

The company has received preliminary building design plans from Clausen Engineering of Emeryville, Calif., and permits have been filed with state and local agencies, the release stated. The company is now finalizing general and sub-contractor bids.

Online

Superior Farms: http://superiorfarms.com



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