Our Town Guymon: Seaboard Foods
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:42:38 GMT —
Historic downtown Guymon is booming, and city officials say it's all thanks to Seaboard Foods.
"We have a lot of activity going on, and a large part of that is because we have a stable base, economy with the agriculture that Seaboard Foods has brought in," said Vicki Ayres-Portman, executive director of the Panhandle Regional Economic Development Coalition.
Seaboard Foods, a pork processing plant, made its debut in Guymon more than 20 years ago.
"Our products go all over the United States and throughout the world - Japan, Mexico, Canada, China-- so we virtually market everywhere in the world," said Seaboard Foods general manager Stan Scott.
Seaboard Foods produces more than 20,000 hogs a day.
"Certainly there's been a lot of growth. When I first came here, we were processing about 3,000 hogs per day. And we've grown to 20,000 a day. Our staffing has went from about 1,000 to 2,300," said Scott.
Before its arrival, city officials say Guymon was quickly declining.
"Our Main Street was going dead, a lot of businesses were leaving, a lot of people had left," said Ayres-Portman.
But Seaboard Foods created hundreds of new jobs, allowing the community to thrive.
Lisa Ortiz, a native of Guymon, has been working as the Seaboard Foods communications specialist from the start.
She said it has allowed her entire family to stay in Guymon thanks to its many job opportunities.
"My children [are] adults now and it's enabled all three of them, have all been employed or are currently employed by Seaboard," said Ortiz.
Some of these jobs include accounting, human resources, uniform distribution, and meat processing, just to name a few.
Now, 20 years later, Guymon has a population of 13,000 -- and the once struggling downtown area is finally able to thrive.