A published report says Trim-Rite is coming to Stephenson County. However, a company spokesman and local leaders say that's news to them. They have yet to finalize a deal that would land the pork processing plant in that county.
Yet some area farmers are optimistic that an agreement may not be too far off.
Richard Beuth has 300 hogs going to market every month. That hog count is exactly what Beuth says Trim-Rite has been inquiring about.
"They were just asking the existing hog farmers if you had a contract and how many hogs you would have available to sell if they came to the region within one to two years," says Beuth.
The questions were part of a survey the local hog farmer got in the mail a few weeks ago. Beuth says the study makes him more confident that a deal may not be too far off, a deal that would bring the pork processing plant and slaughterhouse to the southeast part of the county.
"It shows that he's very interested in getting hogs from this area," says Beuth.
According to the Rockford Register Star, the Illinois Department of Agriculture confirms a deal has been made. A Trim-Rite spokesman denies that report; so does Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp.
"I hope they come here. We're anxious for something to happen, but nothing that we have knowledge of has happened yet," says Gaulrapp.
Trim-Rite's Chief Financial Officer Dave Piotrowski says the hogs are the deal maker or breaker at this point. Will area farmers be able to supply enough for the company, which hopes to slaughter 2,000 plus hogs per day?
There are nearly 15 hog farmers in Stephenson and Winnebago Counties. However, neighboring DeKalb County has the largest number of hog farmers in Illinois.
A Trim-Rite spokesman said he didn't expect an announcement, either way, to be made for the next few weeks.