The year 1984 was a time of change and triumphs for the United States. The first Apple Macintosh personal computer was introduced to consumers at a price of $2,495, while a gallon of gasoline was selling for $1.19 and the XXIII Olympiad was held in Los Angeles, Calif. Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, Michael Jordan was drafted by the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, movies such The Terminator were all the rage and the Los Angeles Raiders beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.
Another impressive accomplishment began in 1984 at the Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats (CTCM) feed mill, located in Springdale, Ark. The mill, which furnishes feed for Cargill’s turkey business in this region, operated an entire year without experiencing any loss of production time due to a workplace injury. Thirty years later, in February 2014, the same mill reached an impressive milestone by operating 30 consecutive years, five days a week, 20 hours a day, without any employee lost time injuries.
This 30-year achievement will be celebrated with a ceremonial awards luncheon on Friday, June 20, 2014, 11:30 a.m., in Springdale, Ark., at the feed mill location. Representatives from the CTCM Springdale, Ark., feed mill and CTCM Gentry, Ark., turkey hatchery, will be presented awards, honoring their years of dedication to employee and workplace safety.
“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, Ark.”
For the nearly 40 Cargill employees who work at the feed mill, each workweek is filled with activity focused on providing high quality, nutritious feed for tens-of-thousands of hungry Cargill turkeys in the region. An average week for 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.
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 ceremony for invited guests will take place in the parking area adjacent to Cargill’s turkey feed mill facility located at 2201 Long Street in Springdale. To help celebrate the accomplishment, Cargill representatives, as well as state and federal legislators and government agencies will attend.
Ricky Belk, director of Arkansas Department of Labor, will initiate the recognition with remarks commending and congratulating the Cargill management and employees for the 30-year achievement by the feed mill, as well as the 22-year milestone for no lost time injuries that was achieved this year by the company’s turkey hatchery at Gentry, Ark.
“The Arkansas Department of Labor has been recognizing employers for safe work time for over 30 years,” said Belk. “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.”
Both Cargill facilities being recognized are part of the Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats (CTCM) business based in Wichita, Kan. Cargill entered the turkey business in the late 1960s, and currently CTCM encompasses 16 U.S. facilities that include hatcheries, feed mills, harvesting and meat processing plants and a distribution center. In addition to live turkey production and processing, CTCM operates facilities that provide consumers with further processed and cooked meats. CTCM facilities are located in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, Nebraska and Minnesota, employ approximately 5,400 people and process an average of 1.07 billion pounds of turkey meat annually, making Cargill one of the leading turkey products companies in the U.S.