Locally Owned Pork Producers building Plant without Government handouts?

Shocker, I guess LOCAL business folks have figured out the FREE Market system and are not asking for a handout from the City of Sioux Falls like communist foreign investors;

Wholestone Farms, an entity owned by regional pork producers, plans to build a more than $500 million pork processing facility in Sioux Falls.


Wholestone has exercised an option to purchase 170 acres in northeast Sioux Falls near Benson Road and Interstate 229, near the new Gage Brothers Concrete Materials location.

Yes, that’s right folks, they didn’t buy the land in Flopdation Park and they are not asking for any TIFs or other handouts from the city, which got a very strange response from Mayor Stoneless;

The city, however, voiced reservations about the project.


“To be frank, we are facing historic housing challenges right now,” Mayor Paul TenHaken said in a statement provided to SiouxFalls.Business.

“In this unique environment, our employers are also facing critical hiring challenges as we have strategically added thousands of new jobs in recent months. Under normal circumstances, the addition of 1,000 more jobs would be an enormous win for the city of Sioux Falls, yet these are not normal circumstances. While I have been and continue to be supportive of value-added agriculture investments in our region, I have a duty to note the challenges currently being faced within our community at this time.”

Instead trying to help this plant find workers, it seems Paul is trying to defend his welfare queens from Communist China, international companies like Amazon (who pay no federal taxes) and South Korean investors. What is Paul afraid of? That this locally owned business will pay better than his foreign welfare friends? Or that more immigrants will come to town to work there? How can you brag about growth then poo poo it when local producers are doing it and not asking for handouts?

Because the plant is still years from opening, Wholestone has not set wages but said they will be competitive and include a full benefits package.


“All the robotic technology that’s available will be employed,” Webb said. “There will be some traditional knife work because there are no robots to do that, but the ergonomically difficult jobs will be done by robots.”

Imagine that, they actually care about the working conditions of their employees, don’t want any government handouts, and are locally owned and Paul is concerned?!! Isn’t this the kind of business we want in Sioux Falls? While I am not wild about another packing plant, at least it isn’t stinking up our namesake. I have told the council and mayor on several occasions that handing out all this candy would eventually bite us in the ass. Plenty of taxpayer subsidized jobs, nobody to work them.

Heck the company even wants to help with housing;

How might Wholestone Farms support community housing initiatives?


Wholestone Farms will be a significant, new employer. We’re sensitive to the housing needs of the community and our future employees. With a minimum of three years to plan for our project, we’re prepared to help the community leverage the increased tax base that will be realized as a result of our project to help provide for additional housing support. There are a multitude of ways to support the housing needs in the community, and our team is open to those ways as determined best by the Sioux Falls community. We want to be part of the solution and would challenge other major employers in Sioux Falls and the region to join us in this effort.

While having another packing plant in Sioux Falls may not be ideal, it just might be so successful it will close down the communist owned stinkhole downtown. Still baffled by Paul’s resistance. Maybe it has something to do with his mysterious trip to China a couple of years ago? Things that make you go Hmmmm . . . .



13 comments ↓

#1 Very Stable Genius on 06.16.21 at 12:26 am

This is further proof that TIFS give the city some control, but without TIFS the city just sits back and watches. And the city doesn’t like that, is my guess.

ThuneHaken’s comments on his China trip a few years ago are quite interesting, too, aren’t they?….:

https://www.siouxfalls.business/tenhaken-strengthening-u-s-%E2%80%91china-relations-starts-at-the-local-level/

Oh, and will this new plant be union?

#2 D@ily Spin on 06.16.21 at 9:23 am

By the time the new plant is open, housing might catch up with demand. It’s impressive that they deny city money. Let’s assume it’s because they want to use their contractors and not get locked in to overpriced developers. Smithfield has labor union and illegal alien problems. A competitor can likely capture the market. A new modern plant should mean more production with fewer employees. Perhaps they’ll build outside from city limits such that city harassment isn’t a problem.

#3 Very Stable Genius on 06.16.21 at 9:24 pm

Doesn’t this say it all? 😉 …..:

https://www.siouxfalls.business/tenhaken-strengthening-u-s-%E2%80%91china-relations-starts-at-the-local-level/

#4 Clutch Cargo on 06.17.21 at 2:14 am

I also find the Mayor’s response puzzling if not outright troubling. He purports to be a free market guy but often sounds more like a Democrat when discussing the City’s role in providing “worker housing” which is just euphemism for subsidized housing that may or may not be occupied by productive citizens. In reality, the Sioux Falls housing industry has met demand growth for decades and will continue to do so if the City just stays out of the way. Despite COVID and materials shortages, there were 2,700 housing starts last year within the City limits alone and it appears far more will be produced this year. My cursory research on Wholestone Farms suggests it is a financially
strong organization with quality leadership, a sound business model, and an established producer footprint in this region. Labor concerns aside, it’s no mystery why they want to locate in Sioux Falls: transportation network, water supply, industrial support services, and business climate. With a modern, automated plant they will indeed provide formidable competition for Smithfield.

#5 anominous on 06.17.21 at 1:49 pm

robots gotta sleep somewhere

#6 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 06.17.21 at 11:32 pm

“water supply”, the Sioux River can’t get any filthier, can it?

#7 scott on 06.18.21 at 10:01 am

we don’t need these foreign out of state pork plants coming in and raping our sovereignty.

#8 YouBetcha on 06.18.21 at 11:29 am

Clutch, you are on. PTH is a RINO. Look at all of his initiatives that he brings forward. Clearly leans far left. Good thing Noem was here to Keep him in check.

#9 anominous on 06.18.21 at 2:46 pm

I kinda doubt PTH’s public reactions now after he intentionally whiffed the mask mandate with his gee-aw-shucks can’t please everyone bit.

#10 The Guy From Guernsey on 06.18.21 at 6:43 pm

With the statement, PTH seems almost regretful of this good fortune. PTH is resigned to the reality that the job of Mayor isn’t going to get easy any time soon. Will not be able to operate in cruise-control, self-driving mode, coasting to one of the federal elected office positions.
Will be difficult to fence-sit and remain non-committal if this project is to move forward toward groundbreaking. And PTH knows it.
This statement much like the audible groan from PTH during public input at a City Council meeting.
He likely did not sign up for this either.

#11 The Guy From Guernsey on 06.18.21 at 7:06 pm

Delighted to see that others see PTH for that which he is – a liberal.
The only bonafides which PTH brings to the Republican party – he was a digital spook for Mike Rounds.
His mayoral administration has been anything except fiscally conservative.
What else can you say about a guy who videos a selfie gleefully celebrating shuttling $1.5 million of city money to a private project.

#12 Clutch Cargo on 06.19.21 at 12:27 am

To clarify, I was referring to the reliable water source provided by the Lewis and Clark pipeline, a critical input for food processing. Wholestone would be required to meet the same tertiary water treatment standards as the City of Sioux Falls. Sioux River pollution is largely the result of non-point source runoff from up-stream farming operations, not treatment plant effluent.
Scott, if you look a bit deeper you will discover that Wholestone is not a “foreign out of state pork plant” but a cooperative comprised of producers in this region who are attempting to ensure a stable market for their livestock without dependence on global conglomerates like Smithfield. Wholestone is closely associated with Pipestone System; its CEO and CFO reside in Sioux Falls. This is Industrial Location Theory 101 in action. Pork processing might not be the most glamorous industry, but it is one for which Sioux Falls has clear competitive advantages without a need for massive City or State handouts. Reading between the lines, I suspect that Wholestone is a highly entrepreneurial organization that would draw upon Sioux Falls financial, logistics, communications, and marketing resources to build their business. Economic impacts could extend well beyond those associated with the processing plant if Sioux Falls becomes their home office site. I hope the Mayor is looking beyond the end of his nose on this issue.

#13 rufusx on 06.19.21 at 2:50 pm

FYI – the Wholestone plant in Fremont Nebraska is a UFCW organized plant *same union as Smithfiled’s – and we can assume the same will be true of one in SF. I.E., wages and benefits will be the same to Smithfields (same local union – same contract).