Pennsylvania, USA -- Cargill Animal Nutrition celebrated the opening of its new feed mill near Chambersburg, replacing a plant that was destroyed last year by a fire.
On Wednesday, guests had a chance to tour the new shop in the Cumberland Valley Business Park.
"It's pretty amazing," said Edwin Burkholder, a Shippensburg area dairy farmer, who toured the plant with his family. "It's impressive."
Jay Grove, who feeds a herd of about 450 at his Shippensburg area dairy farm, said he was also impressed.
"As a farmer, I'm glad for Cargill to be here to service my farm," he said. "We rely so much on these people because we feed 24-7. Especially on holidays, it's important we have a mill close by."
After the fire, Cargill continued to supply its customers from plants in Lebanon and Blair counties until the new mill was up and running.
"After the fire, our first thought is, 'How are we going to take care of our customers?' With the snow we had, we were already working out of a hole," said plant manager George Wagner. "The day of the fire we were afraid it was all going to be over, but Cargill looked at the number of cows in the area and decided to make it all happen."
Franklin County is the No. 2 dairy producer in the state.
The mill serves dairy farmers and livestock producers in Franklin County, as well as Cumberland and Adams counties in Pennsylvania, and Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties in Maryland. Its core market is about a 75-mile radius.
The mill employs a staff of seven, in addition to four consultants who go out to the farms, according to Wagner.
With the new plant, Cargill was able to increase production by about 20 percent. It is capable of producing 120,000 tons of feed per year.
"We built with expansion in mind," said Rob Sheffer, regional general manger.
Cargill officials said it was also built with its customers in mind, and after the fire, it was not a matter of whether it would be rebuilt, but how.
The previous mill, built 13 years ago, was destroyed by a fire in the early morning of Feb. 12, 2010. The cause of the fire has not been determined.