ITHACA, N.Y.(WENY)--  Winter is right around the corner which means snow plows and salt trucks are going to be gearing up to keep our roads safe. But did you know that a large majority of the salt used on our roads to melt away the hazardous snow and ice comes right from Tompkins County? The Cargill Salt mine is constantly pumping out large numbers of salt every day to ensure we have a safe winter. 

"We operate almost 24/7 around the clock, we produce about 2 million tons of salt per year of which New York State is our largest customer by far. So the majority of what we mine here stays in the state, so it's mined by New York for New York," says Shawn Wilczynski, Facility Mine Manager of Cargill. 

The managers and employees of the mine know the work they are doing is extremely necessary, especially for the state of New York, which gets hit with hard winters almost every year. 

"Our Primary goal is to protect lives. So we know every day when we show up to work, what's at steak and how passionate we are to ensure that come winter time, that everyone has the salt they need to protect lives and ensure that those in the state of New York are safe to travel during the winter time," says  Wilczynski.

Shawn said that this job is unique due to the fact that they are supplying for a lot of the North East, and if they were not doing their jobs, they would be impacting families in numerous states. He said that it is hard, enduring work that his staff at Cargill puts in, but at the end of the day, they are keeping the roads safe for families just like theirs. 

Cargill's passion for their work is one of the many reasons the Tompkins County Chamber chose them to be another one of their recipients of the "We Think You're Gorges" award.

"To be one of the first ones again I think it truly is in my opinion a privilege and just another really great way to educate people on the uniqueness on what we have here in Tompkins County and the Ithaca area," says  Wilczynski. 

You can click here if you are interested in learning more about Cargill and what they do!