Cattlemen’s Heritage Beef Company plans to build a new beef packing plant in western Iowa, adding to the sector’s processing capacity amid calls for greater expansion and diversification of ownership. 

The company announced plans last week to break ground in Spring 2022 on a facility capable of processing 1,500 head of cattle per day. The facility will be federally inspected, allowing it to ship its products across state lines, and will be located near Interstate 29 and just south of Omaha, Neb., in western Iowa.

“Creating more economic value to Iowa agriculture and the state’s livestock industry will help bring the next generation back to the farm,” Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig said in a statement. “This is important for the success and sustainability of the ag community and our state’s economy.” 

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Expanding beef processing capacity has long been a goal of many in the industry but has taken on particular importance over the last few years. A fire at a Tyson facility in Kansas, plant shutdowns spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recent cyberattack on meatpacker JBS all spurred calls for more, smaller plants to diversify the industry’s production and processing capabilities. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has also spoken to the importance of the effort and pledged to “significantly” expand meatpacking capacity in the U.S.

According to the company’s Facebook page, Cattlemen’s Heritage plans to open the facility in late 2023.

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