Farmers' Advance: Clemens processing plant hosts grand opening
COLDWATER, MI -- On July 29, Michigan added another product to their varied agricultural offerings with the opening of the Clemens Food Group pork processing plant, the most current and updated facility in the world, in Coldwater, MI.
Clemens Food Group CEO Doug Clemens welcomed the audience with a note of appreciation for everything that was done, whether large or small. He then introduced Dr. Charles Zimmerman, who prayed over the proceedings after opening with a reading of the mission statement.
“We pause to acknowledge, however, that all these characteristics, in fact all that we are and all that we have, are gifts from you,” Zimmerman said during the prayer, giving credit to God.
Clemens invited Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who was given a standing ovation as he approached the stage to share some comments about the future of Michigan with the inclusion of the new facility.
“This is a ‘Pure Michigan’ day. This is truly an exciting day for Michigan,” Snyder said. “Michigan has a proud legacy in agriculture and this will only add to that.” He also mentioned that Michigan is the second-ranked state in the nation for diversified agricultural products and has passed the $100 billion mark for agricultural production which is part of the reason for a stronger economy in the state.
The governor finished his comments with the giving of a tribute from the State of Michigan.
“On behalf of the citizens of the state of Michigan, we want to welcome Clemens Food Group, the outstanding things you are doing and the pride we have in having you as Michiganders,” Snyder concluded, presenting the framed tribute to Clemens.
The 7th District Representative Tim Walberg was on hand to welcome the attendees to his district with comments on his experience at the Hatfield, PA plant and corporate office of Clemens Food Group, the agricultural future of the plant, and their humane practices concerning the animals.
“I am so proud of this district and proud to have the agriculture community which makes this the most diverse ag district in the state,” Walberg said.
Clemens introduced Senator Debbie Stabenow to add to the distinguished list of speakers for the morning.
“I consider this a stop on my small business tour,” Stabenow said to the laughter of the audience. She shared the history of Clemens starting with the first farm that was purchased for $4000 by John and Susie Clemens and bringing it to current day and the technological advances. Stabenow also informed the attendees of additional economic information relating to the state and the job outlook.
“One out of four jobs in Michigan is connected to agriculture and we are very proud of that. This company will add to that,” Stabenow said.
Clemens Food Group CEO Doug Clemens concluded the presentations with an emotional speech expressing gratitude for the people who were responsible for the facility and the reason for the grand opening.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony completed the grand opening event. The facility will start running in early September, employing over 800 people with the intention to process between 10,000 and 12,000 hogs each day.
A video of the new building and the event will be available on various media outlets including the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities public access channel in September.
This article originally appeared in the August 8 edition of the Farmers' Advance.