Today, the Wright County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the development agreement enabling Prestage Foods of Iowa to build a $240-million pork processing plant near Eagle Grove, Iowa. During the past six weeks, several public hearings have taken place to provide information and answer questions about the project. Many business leaders, community organization members, farmers and citizens have spoken in favor of the project.
“We are pleased that the Wright County Board of Supervisors granted us approval to move forward with this new, state-of-the-art packing plant,” says Ron Prestage, DVM. “We are investing in Iowa and believe it is good for the state, good for agriculture and good for our family owned and run business.”
The plant will be a $43 million boost to the payroll in Wright County and will provide economic benefits to surrounding counties as well. More than 900 full-time jobs will be created with the lowest paid workers beginning at more than $37,000 per year, plus full benefits. Average wages at the plant are expected to be more than $47,000.
“We have been raising hogs in Iowa for more than a decade and plan to buy 40% of the hogs for the plant from local, independent farmers,” says Prestage. “This will help these farmers cut back on transportation costs and keeps the value in the state.”
The Prestage family is committed to running a sustainable organization by placing emphasis on clean air, water quality and energy efficiency when planning for this plant. The new, state-of-the-art facility will use the most modern technology to ensure sustainability goals are met.
Jere Null, COO, Prestage Foods of Iowa, talks about the next steps for the project. “We look forward to completing the design for the plant, selecting businesses to work with for plant building supplies and construction, and breaking ground in early spring 2017,” Null says. The plant is scheduled to be completed in late-2018.
Null explains that the construction project will employ Iowa contractors from many disciplines, including steel workers, plumbers, electricians, fabricators, millwrights, pipe fitters, concrete installers, excavators, landscapers and roofers. Prestage is using Epstein Contractors out of Chicago as its architect and general contractor due to their extensive experience in building food plants across the globe.
For more information, visit www.prestagefoodsofiowa.com.