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Premium Iowa Pork looking to Minnesota for more processing

Company plans to hire 325 full-time employees and process up to 2,200 antibiotic-free hogs per day.

A pork producer based in Iowa is planning to breathe new life into a shuttered former poultry plant in Luverne, Minn.

According to media reports, Premium Iowa Pork has plans for a $25 million renovation to the Gold’n Plump plant in this southwestern Minnesota city. Forum News Service says the Luverne Planning Commission recommended approval of a conditional use permit for the property last week, and the Luverne City Council will vote on the conditional use permit at its July 10 meeting and is expected to approve it.

Premium Iowa Pork’s plan is to hire 325 full-time employees and process up to 2,200 antibiotic-free hogs per day. When the Gold’n Plump plant closed on Dec. 29 it employed about 200 workers.

Forum News Service wrote that under a handshake agreement with the city, Premium Iowa Pork will pay for an estimated $6.76 million in required upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment facility, paying for half of the cost over five years. That is in addition to the $25 million Premium Iowa Pork is putting toward the renovation. Initially, the city will allow Premium Iowa Pork to slaughter up to 1,200 hogs a day before its system is up to the task.

Premium Iowa Pork plans to build a 12,500-square-foot addition along with a full “kill floor.” If all goes to plan, the company would begin renovations this fall and begin production in 2019. The Luverne plant would be the company’s second slaughterhouse to go with its Hospers, Iowa, location, which employs more than 400 workers and slaughters more than 300 hogs per day.

Luverne Mayor Pat Baustian says the reaction to the proposed plant has generally been positive, noting that no members of the community spoke out against the project during the public hearing at the planning commission meeting.

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