A local Cargill facility is celebrating a major safety milestone this week in its turkey feed mill in Springdale. The feed mill opened in 1984 and 30 years later the facility is celebrating three decades of operation without any employee lost time injuries, the meat company said Monday (June 16).
This achievement will be recognized with an awards luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 20, in Springdale at the feed mill location — 2201 Long Street.
“Cargill was built on a firm foundation of respect, integrity and commitment to health and safety,” said Shane Acosta, general manager for Cargill’s turkey operations in Northwest Arkansas, headquartered in Springdale. “Employee and workplace safety is one of our top priorities and the employees of the Springdale mill should take great pride in this tremendous achievement they have worked so hard to earn. We are also honoring a similar 22-year accomplishment by our hatchery team at Gentry.”
An average week for the almost 40 employees of the feed mill consists of 100 hours of operation, with employees working in 10 hour shifts, two shifts daily, five days a week. In these 100 hours, Cargill employees produce, load and ship approximately 5.6 million pounds (2,800 tons) of feed, which is delivered to Cargill’s contract turkey farmers located throughout the region, according to the release.
Cargill said each week the mill receives the equivalent of approximately 110 truckloads of ingredients and ships an average of 112 truckloads of finished feed. The process of loading and unloading these feed ingredients and the finished product is labor intensive and involves handling rail cars, trucks and filling and drawing from large grain silos. This type of work requires a great deal of care and concentration to be accomplished safely each day. It is a direct reflection of the feed mill employees’ commitment to safety that more than 11,000 days have elapsed since the last lost time injury occurred.
“The Arkansas Department of Labor has been recognizing employers for safe work time for over 30 years,” said Ricky Belk director for state labor department. “For a company to have a record of safety that spans nearly that entire time is an incredible achievement. It is an honor to be invited to celebrate this important milestone with the employees of Cargill and I am looking forward to congratulating them for their dedication to safety in our state.”