Prestage Foods of Iowa LLC has officially broken ground to begin construction of its new fresh pork processing plant, although no ceremony was held.
“With the initial engineering complete, we are excited to be moving into the construction phase of this project,” said Jere Null, chief operating officer of Prestage Foods of Iowa. “At the peak of construction, we expect over 600 people to be working daily at the site. After construction, we will permanently employ approximately 1,000 people. We are proud to be investing and creating opportunities for the people of Wright County, the region and the state of Iowa.”
Prestage Farms currently raises pigs in more than 30 Iowa counties. The new facility will support these operations and will use state-of-the art systems to clean the air, reduce water and energy needs and provide a safe work environment and will utilize the latest innovations in processing and automation technology to help ensure that it is a world leader in food, employee and environmental safety. For example, the plant will use the most modern “air scrubbing” technology and will incorporate a water reuse program, which reduces the overall needs for water and wastewater treatment.
With construction beginning, the new plant is set for first operations in the fall of 2018. 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 new full-time jobs will be created, with even 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 are confident that we will be able to translate and apply the same commitment to quality in processing that we have to our live animal production business,” Dr. Ron Prestage said on behalf of the Prestage family. “This is an exciting time in our industry and an exciting time for our family business!”
Prestage Farms Inc. is a multi-generational, family-owned and -operated business started in 1983 by Bill and Marsha Prestage, who, along with their three sons, still own and actively operate this multifaceted business. Today, Prestage Farms, together with its affiliates, is a top-five producer of pork and turkey and employs more than 2,000 people company-wide, contracts with more than 450 farm families in seven states and produces more than 1 billion lb. of meat annually. Prestage Farms is headquartered in Clinton, N.C., and has operations in Iowa, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma.