Stampede Meat Inc., announced its grand opening at a ribbon cutting ceremony, just five short months after announcing the company’s expansion outside of Illinois for the first time in its 24-year history. Stampede will invest more than $36 million to renovate and reopen the former Tyson Foods facility in Sunland Park, New Mexico. Over the next year, the facility will increase Stampede’s existing 285,000 square footage and 190 million-pound capacity by more than half. Once fully utilized, the facility will support $300 to 400 million in incremental top line growth.

Stampede Meat CEO and President Brock Furlong was joined by New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Matt Geisel at the ceremony.

Stampede Meat president & CEO Brock Furlong addresses the audience during the company's ribbon-cutting event at its new Sunland Park, N.M., plant.

“We are poised to have our single largest sales growth in our 24-year history, due in no small part to this critical investment. But make no mistake, it was a herculean effort made by a great many individuals to arrive here today,” Stampede Meat CEO and President Brock Furlong said. “This expansion creates a platform for immediate growth.”

The expansion project was split into three phases. Phase 1 is completed and included a full renovation to the production plant, which included a new roof, walls and flooring. Phase 2 is underway and will be complete within the next few weeks, “The facility will be deploying at scale a proprietary 360-degree fire-seared, sous vide process, which we developed over the last three years. This new capability is not only immediately needed to facilitate current customer contracts and commitments heading into 2019, but it will also open up many new customer doors,” Furlong explained. Phase 3 is projected to begin early 2019 and will include a clean room for post-cook lethality processing.

Stampede began its hiring efforts in Fall of 2018 and received thousands of applications during the initial hiring phase. Over the next five years, this expansion will create 1,295 new food processing and manufacturing jobs, making Stampede’s growth one of the largest job creation projects in New Mexico in over a decade. “We’ll quickly ramp up to 2 shifts of production as soon as mid-January of 2019. To put that in perspective, many facilities run for years prior to adding a second shift. We will run for about 5 to 6 weeks before the necessity will kick in.” Furlong said.

“After years of hard work to create a business-friendly environment, companies are choosing New Mexico because they know they are welcome here,” said Economic Development Secretary Matt Geisel. “Today, our commitment to critical economic development tools is paying off as we celebrate Stampede Meat’s expansion to Sunland Park and next round of hiring.”

“We wouldn’t be here today without the loyalty and partnership from our customers. I am very thankful to them for giving us the confidence to make this investment in support of their growth and continued success,” Furlong said. “I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank Governor Martinez, Cabinet Secretary Matt Geisel, Davin Lopez and Eric Montgomery with MVEDA and all of their respective teams for their support. Last and certainly not least, I would like to specifically thank Mayor Javier Perea and the community of Sunland Park for welcoming Stampede Meat so thoroughly and completely.”

Stampede Meat is headquartered in Bridgeview, Ill., with surrounding facilities in Oak Lawn, Bedford Park and Hodgkins. These facilities currently produce a wide variety of menu offerings other than beef including chicken, turkey, pork, vegetables, soups, prepared meals and alternative proteins.

Editor’s Note: Andy Hanacek, Editor-in-Chief of The National Provisioner, attended the grand opening event and will be writing more on the company soon.

Source: Stampede Meat Ltd.