WICHITA, Kan. - To meet retail customer and consumer demand, Cargill is investing $2.3 million to install ground beef production and packaging equipment at its Wyalusing, Pa., beef processing facility. The equipment will add significant ground beef production capacity at the plant, while also increasing employment by 15-20 full-time jobs.

"Cargill produces more ground beef than any other company in the world, and demand continues to be strong for this form of protein as an American staple food," Andy Ripic said, Cargill vice president and plant general manager at Wyalusing. "Our customers have told us they would like us to produce more ground beef to meet demand. With the arrival of spring we will soon be getting into the grilling season, so installing equipment, adding jobs and filling the ground beef needs for retailers we serve in the northeast is a 'win' for everyone involved."

Ground beef is a product of emphasis for Cargill in 2013. Its sponsorship of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Trevor Bayne includes a racecar paint scheme with artwork of a large burger on a bun and the tagline "Our Certified Ground Beef" that accompanies a Cargill logo on the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang. Additionally, Cargill developed a "Tailgating with Trevor" promotion for use by retailers in specific geographic regions throughout the year. The company also recently launched a new consumer Internet website dedicated to those who love ground beef (cargillgroundbeef.com), which will soon include social media sharing capability via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

"Ground beef is used for making many foods enjoyed by people across the country, from meatballs to meatloaf, burgers to tacos, chili to spaghetti sauce to name six," stated Katie Blick-White, associate brand manager for Cargill Beef in Wichita, Kan. Consumers have told us they want to eat beef, and that ground beef is an affordable way for them to routinely enjoy wholesome, flavorful, high-quality, affordable protein, especially during a challenging economic environment such as the one America has experienced over the past five years."

Built in 1942 by Taylor Packing Company, Cargill acquired the Wyalusing beef plant in 2002. The plant's 1,150 employees process up to 1,800 head of cattle daily, making this facility one of the largest beef processing plants on the east coast. The facility produces beef for retail and food service customers throughout the northeastern portion of the U.S., and is one of nine beef processing facilities Cargill operates in North America.