Iowa welcomes new pork processing plants

New plants creates fresh opportunity for U.S. hog producers.

This week the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board sweetens the pot for a new proposed pork processing plant, slated to be built in Mason City.  The state board approval of a $15 million tax incentive package endorses its support of the pork industry that has contributed to the state’s economic well-being.

Pending finalization of state approvals, Prestage Foods of Iowa LLC intends to build a state-of-the-art, pork processing facility on a proposed tract in Mason City, Iowa. This one-shift plant will employ as many as 1,000 Iowans with a total capital investment over $240 million. The plant plans to process 10,000 hogs a day. Eventually, the company plans to add second shift, adding 2,000 additional jobs.

North-Carolina based Prestage Farms announced the forming the new company, Prestage Foods of Iowa LLC, in conjunction with the intent to build the new Iowa plant.

 Ron Prestage ,DVM, says Iowa was the right fit for the new business.  “We have been impressed with the help and support provided by local and state officials, the Iowa Pork Producers Association, NPPC, and the National Pork Board. We have always believed that our family and employees must be engaged in the communities in which we operate and the industry we represent. Having produced market hogs in Iowa for the past dozen years, we believe Mason City is the right place for us to strategically build this new plant,” says Prestage, speaking on behalf of the family.

Still, Prestage Foods is not the only company investing in the pork business in the heart of pork country.  Construction is underway for $264 million pork processing plant in Northwest Iowa.  Seaboard Triumph Foods announced the building a 600,000 square-foot plant last May, planning to begin operation in 2017 with a single shift.  The plant will bring 1,100 jobs to the local area.

In a statement, Mark Porter, chief operating officer of the Sioux City plant, says the state and the local community has embraced the new plant.  He adds, “Sioux City and Northwest Iowa have a long and rich history in agriculture and food production that has made the Siouxland region such a great place to live and work. We appreciate the heartfelt welcome we received since announcing our plans to build a world-class pork processing plant and are anxious to begin operations in 2017."

The new processing plants will also create new market opportunities for U.S. hog producers.  On the heels of production challenging years, more pigs are coming to market. Market analysts anticipate limited packing spots for hogs this fall.  While these processing plants will not be operational in time to ease the tight packing capacity situation this year, they will give pork producers new options for marketing hogs. 

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