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Agricultural News

An Original Supplier of Hogs to Seaboard- Hitch Enterprises Announces an Exit Out of the Pork Business

Mon, 29 Jun 2020 05:49:54 CDT

An Original Supplier of Hogs to Seaboard- Hitch Enterprises Announces an Exit Out of the Pork Business After being a part of the Oklahoma pork industry scene for twenty five years, Hitch Enterprises has called it quits. Hitch entered pork production in 1995 when Seaboard announced the opening of a pork processing plant in Guymon. Hitch Pork Producers, Inc. currently markets 325,000 hogs per year from a 15,000 sow farrow to finish operation. According to Hitch Enterprises CEO Jason Hitch, the hog operation has "not worked for four years" and that lack of profitability was dealt a final blow with the problems brought onto the overall pork industry with COVID 19.

Asked if the company would be selling the business to another operator, Hitch told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays that they had tried selling off the pork operation over the last year with no success- and that they would be repurposing their swine buildings within the rest of their operations focusing on crops and beef cattle. He added that it was time for the family based business to let the pork operation go.

Hitch says that the legacy part of the the company, their beef cattle feeding business, will not be affected by the decision to end the Hitch involvement in the pork business. He told Hays that successful risk management had allowed cattle feeding in remain in the black- at least for the time being.

In a notification to County Commissioners in Guymon and the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, Hitch Enterprises said it would close its Hitch Pork Producers Inc. operation next month. The layoff of the 150 workers will be permanent.

In a Daily Oklahoman article on the decision, Roy Lee Lindsey of the Oklahoma Pork Council commented on the Hitch decision- describing the farrow to finish efforts of the company. Lindsey said "Hitch operated about a half-dozen farrowing farms where sows birth piglets. It also operated nurseries, where infant pigs are raised until they reach about 50 pounds.

"From there, the pigs are sent to finishers that Hitch also operated, where they are fed out to reach an optimum market weight of about 280 pounds."

ďA lot of what we are sending to market now is a lot bigger,Ē Lindsey said, noting the nationís meat processors for pigs periodically have been operating at reduced levels or closed altogether because of pandemic-related illnesses.

Hitch Enterpirses will continue to operate two feedlots in Texas County, with total capacity of just over 100,000 head. Learn More about Hitch Enterprises at their website, available here.



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