Whiteshire Hamroc, LLC, a Noble County, IN, swine genetics company, recently announced a joint venture with Tangrenshen Co. Ltd., an integrated pork and feed company in Hunan Province, China, to build an international research and development farm in Northeast Indiana.
“This new facility is to be the first international swine research and development farm for both the United States and China,” said Michael Lemmon, CEO of Whiteshire Hamroc LLC. “Employees will perform genetic and production research on traits and techniques that will be specifically utilized in genetic improvement programs for farms both in the United States and China,” Lemmon added.
The research center will double as a training ground for farm managers from China. Not only will they learn
about new genetic and production techniques/technology, but will also receive management training. “The instruction will be focused on developing more effective, successful production teams and improving efficiency on the farms in China, which is the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork.” explained Lemmon.
According to Scott Lawrence of Whiteshire Hamroc, other U.S. swine genetics companies will assist in providing genetic components and guiding the research and development projects at the new facility. “The partners in PureTek Genetics LLC will provide valuable genetic assets and other assistance with this project,” said Lawrence. Along with Whiteshire Hamroc, PureTek Genetics members include Tempel
Genetics Inc. and Shaffer Superior Genetics Inc. of Indiana, and Cedar Ridge Farms Inc. of Illinois. “The PureTek Genetics LLC team will provide the largest purebred genetic base in the world for further development and testing on this new research farm. Tangrenshen and their Chinese customers will benefit directly from PureTek’s combined efforts toward genetic improvement,” Lawrence added.
Locally, the new research and development farm will generate at least 25 long term jobs and well over 100 short term construction jobs. Local vendors, veterinarians, businesses and contractors will have the opportunity to provide goods and services to the project. The property taxes generated are estimated to be significantly higher than those currently being paid on the eventual property where the farm will be built. Local hotels, restaurants and retailers will benefit from the steady stream of Chinese visitors that will come to this facility for training, selection of animals, or touring the state of the art facilities. “In short,” says Lemmon, “Northeast Indiana will become a destination for Chinese people that are involved with the most important agricultural product in China… swine.”
In 2008, Whiteshire Hamroc LLC signed its first long term joint venture agreement with Tangrenshen Co. Ltd. With this original agreement, Whiteshire Hamroc agreed to provide technologies crucial to a successful production system including swine genetics, building systems, and production protocols to its Chinese partner. Since that time, the 1200-sow Meishen Whiteshire farm has been constructed in Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China. This joint venture production system has been in production since the fall of 2008, and features Whiteshire’s patented AirWorks buildings.
The Meishen Whiteshire farm has been populated with Whiteshire Hamroc breeding stock from the United States. Production has been ongoing and currently approaches the same levels and quality of production as Whiteshire’s farms in the United States. Meishen Whiteshire is the first foreign swine farm to receive U.S. pedigrees and registrations from the National Swine Registry in West Lafayette, IN. In addition, the Meishen Whiteshire Farm was recognized as one of China’s top Nucleus Farms in 2011.
Sales of the purebred breeding pigs from the Meishen Whiteshire farm have been excellent and demand for breeding pigs has resulted in the development of a second Meishen 1200-sow farm in Hebei Province, China. The construction of this second farm has already started and should be ready to accept a new group of Whiteshire pigs from the United States by the end of 2012.