SILOAM SPRINGS, ARK. — Simmons Pet Food’s new state-of-the-art pet food canning facility in Dubuque, Iowa is on track to start production in July, according to an update from the company released March 29.

“We are thrilled to see the progress being made over the last few months,” said Scott Salmon, president of Simmons Pet Food. “Our engineering and operations teams are executing at a high level to ensure facility modifications are complete and process testing can begin as planned.”

The new canning facility, first announced in December 2020, is expected to increase the company’s overall wet pet food production capacity by more than 400 million cans per year. Simmons acquired an existing 250,000-square-foot building in the Dubuque Industrial Center and invested approximately $80 million to expand and adapt the facility.

The company has met its staffing goals for the first part of a two-phase production plan. It has hired more than 120 team members to work at the new facility after beginning recruitment in January. The second phase of the expansion will bring an additional 270 jobs to the Dubuque area.

“We’re pleased with the success we’ve had in building our team in Dubuque,” Salmon added. “The support from local service providers and development officials has been tremendous to keep the project on pace.”

Simmons Pet Food is in the process of conducting hands-on training for its new Dubuque employees at its existing pet food plant in Emporia, Kan.

“This has been a great solution to help familiarize new team members with our production processes, our core values, and our safety and quality culture,” Salmon said.

The company also announced in October 2020 plans to construct a new wet pet food facility in Arkansas, expected to become operational later this year.

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