Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Longtime Rochester residents have become accustomed to rapid changes, but an announcement made today may be hard to believe for some.

New York-based Seneca Foods says the canning operation in Rochester will be shutting down for good after the coming season. Seneca Chief Financial Officer Tim Benjamin says an exact date cannot be set because of uncertainties about the timing of the harvests of the corn and other vegetables canned at the 89-year-old plant next to the Olmsted County Fairgrounds, but he anticipates it will likely be before the end of the year.

He says the company is working with the 60 workers affected by the planned closure in hopes of finding them new positions within Seneca and some may end up working at the company’s freezer facility near the south Walmart Store. There are no plans to close that operation, which currently employs about 180 people.

Townsquare Media photo

Benjamin says market forces, specifically a continued decline in the purchase of canned vegetable products, is forcing Seneca to shift the canning work from Rochester to other plants in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He says the company has not made any decisions concerning the future of the cannery or the iconic corn cob water tower at the site.

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