After plans to build a new plant in Mason City, Iowa fell through earlier this year, on Tuesday Prestage Foods named Wright County, Iowa as the site of its planned $240 million pork processing facility.
“We are investing in Iowa and specifically Wright County because we believe this plant is good for Iowa, good for agriculture and a good step forward for our family-owned and run business,” says Ron Prestage, on behalf of the Prestage family. “Iowa is the nation’s leading pork producing state and currently produces more pigs than it can process. This plant will keep the value from processing pigs in this state.”
The North Carolina-based company says construction will begin in the fall pending finalization of county and state approvals, with completion and first shift operations beginning in mid-2018. Once operational, the plant tends to employ more than 900 people. The proposed 650,000-sq.-ft. facility will operate one shift, killing 10,000 hogs per day.
The new plant will use state-of-the-art systems to clean the air, reduce water and energy needs, and provide a safe work environment. For example, the plant will use the most modern “air scrubbing” technology and incorporate a water reuse program, which reduces the overall needs for water and wastewater treatment. The plant will utilize the latest innovations in processing and automation technology to help ensure that it is a world leader in food, employee and environmental safety.
“We value our culture of care and concern for individuals. In our turkey processing plant that started in 2004, we have many employees that have been with us for more than a decade,” says John Prestage. “Our family and managers are in the plants, and employees are cross trained within departments and rotate through departments, which has been key to providing a positive work environment and we plan to do the same in the new pork processing plant.”
Prestage Foods employs more than 2,000 people company-wide, contracts with more than 450 farm families in seven states, and produces more than 1 billion pounds of meat annually. The company has operations in Iowa, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma.