Pork producer Hanor Cos. is moving its headquarters operations from Spring Green, Wisconsin, to a new office building in Enid, officials said.

The total number of employees, 35, might seem small, but Enid Regional Development Alliance Chairman Jimmy Stallings said it represents a significant investment in the community. Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council, agreed.

“Their willingness to commit to a headquarters here demonstrates their commitment to Oklahoma,” Lindsey said. “One of the top executives lives in Enid. And I know from talking with the leadership of the company that they believe strongly in investing in community.”

The pork industry hasn’t been able to take advantage of a drought-reduced U.S. cattle herd to supplant beef on dinner menus because of equally damaging shrinkage from porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. Lindsey said live prices peaked last summer in the face of PED losses and then fell over the winter.

The pork industry is now looking at about 2-percent growth in its breeding stock, Lindsey said, with an increased likelihood of adding sows and sending weaned pigs back to the Midwest to feed on corn.

As part of the Triumph Foods cooperative, Hanor is well-positioned for growth, which will benefit Enid. Triumph and Seaboard Farms last year announced a joint venture to construct a new pork processing facility in Sioux City, Iowa, with work expected to be done by mid-2017, when most of the Hanor relocation is finished. Seaboard also has a plant in Guymon. Several other new hog plants and production sites are expected in the region, Lindsey said.

Roberts Ranch, a unit of the Hanor Cos., already employs 35 people in Enid. The company also operates a feed mill nearby. Stallings said Hanor has a washing facility for its trucks on the east side of town where the office land was purchased.

“They like Enid; they like the location,” he said. “They said they want to be here.”

The company did not ask for any incentives, Stallings said.

Hanor has already started construction on 55 acres, a portion of which will be developed into a business park for other companies.