Scheduled to break ground in spring 2022, the 500,000-square-foot Cattlemen’s Heritage beef-harvesting plant, to be located in northern Mills County just south of Council Bluffs, will harvest 1,500 head per day and employ up to 750 people. 

“We were drawn to the ESI Group because of its status as an industry leader with more than three decades of specialized experience in the design and construction of food distribution, processing, and automated facilities,” says Chad Tentinger, lead developer for Cattlemen’s Heritage, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. “The ESI Group has the expertise and ability to ensure that our facility is up and running as planned in December 2023.”

ESI Group’s design and construction of a 901,668-square-foot distribution center on 74 acres in Phoenix, to better serve grocery retailer WinCo’s existing 94 and future stores, influenced the Cattlemen’s Heritage leadership team’s decision, Tentinger says.

ESI’s president, Brad Barke, says they look forward to working with Tentinger, a fourth-generation Iowa cattle producer, and the Cattlemen’s Heritage team. “Chad and his team are committed to expanding beef processing in the Upper Midwest to ensure that cattle producers receive a fair return on their financial investment and hard work,” he says. “We’re excited to play a part in Cattlemen’s Heritage’s goal of changing the traditional methods of processing cattle through additional processing capacity and by incorporating the lessons the beef-processing industry has learned through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Barke notes that the project will bring economic opportunities to the surrounding communities with an estimated 3,300 workers needed through construction.