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[Archived] Poultry Company says their Pollution Solution

| News | December 14, 2005

Joplin Globe, 12/14/05

Simmons: System removes pollution from poultry plant

Operation to produce animal-food additive from slaughter waste

By Linda Greer

Special to the Globe

SOUTHWEST CITY, Mo. - Five years after a demonstration in a pickle 
jar atop a workbench, a scientist holds a patent on a system that 
Simmons Foods Inc. managers say eliminates poultry-plant pollution.
Company Chairman Mark Simmons told visitors to the Southwest City 
plant Tuesday that scientist John Lee's invention will eliminate the 
odor and wastewater-disposal problems that plague poultry-processing plants.

"We've taken the waste to make a valuable product, a feed ingredient 
for animals and fish," said Simmons.

Around 50 representatives of local governments, civic groups and 
other poultry companies toured the plant to learn more Tuesday.
Lee, of Rigel Technology Corp., created a procedure that mixes 
poultry-plant waste products, which are blood and skimmings, to make 
a nutrient-rich substance resembling fine red sand that can be added 
to agricultural and aquatic feed, said Simmons.

Simmons Foods patented the substance, naming it Pro-Cal for its high 
protein and calories. The Pro-Cal plant, in a new $10 million 
building, will begin operation in early 2006 on the Simmons site in 
Southwest City.

The project was slated to begin operation in late 2005 but was 
delayed because of hurricanes, said Pro-Cal accounting manager Bill 
Barnes. Some of the system equipment was made in Holland and England, he said.
"This is the only production facility in the United States today," 
said Gene Woods, president of Simmons protein operations. "We suspect 
in a few years, there will be a lot more of them."

Woods began working with Lee in May 2001 to develop the process that 
combines and dries the poultry waste products. In 2002, Simmons built 
a pilot plant within the current plant. After hundreds of tests, the 
final Pro-Cal product was achieved while eliminating odors and 
wastewater, Woods said.

"Mark (Simmons) was adamant that we were not going to build a plant 
where we couldn't control the odors or the contaminants," Woods said. 
He said the operation incinerates odorous vapors and liquids.
Pro-Cal is marketed as a feed additive, and is being sold now to a 
Kansas dairy feed mill and Fairland Feed Mill, which makes poultry 
feed, said Terry Graham, Pro-Cal plant manager.

The product is about 48 percent protein and 35 percent fat, with a 6 
percent moisture content. Graham said it can be fed safely to birds, 
livestock and fish.

State Rep. Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, said the plant opening is an 
important event in his district. "Simmons," he said, "is trying to do 
the right thing for the environment."

Southwest City Mayor Ryan McKee, also a Simmons electrician, said the 
Pro-Cal operation will solve a lot of the complaints he hears about 
plant odor and wastewater.

McDonald County Commissioners Gayle Brock and Bill Wilson also 
expressed positive opinions of the project.

Brock, who raises hogs and cattle, said he is pro-industry, and he 
views Pro-Cal as a good addition to the community and the county. He 
said he predicts it won't be long until all area farmers are adding 
the product to their feed.