Prestage Foods of Iowa, LLC named Wright County for its new pork processing facility.
“We are investing in Iowa and specifically Wright County because we believe this plant is good for Iowa, good for agriculture and a good step forward for our family-owned and run business,” said Ron Prestage, speaking for the company in a press release. “Iowa is the nation’s leading pork producing state and currently produces more pigs than it can process. This plant will keep the value from processing pigs in this state.”
The plant will be a $43 million boost to the payroll in Wright County, and will have economic benefits to the surrounding counties as well. More than 900 new 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 are excited to have Prestage Foods of Iowa construct their first pork processing plant in Wright County,” says Bryce Davis, Wright County economic development director, in a press release. “Agriculture is important to this county and to our state and we welcome the more than 900 new jobs and $240 million investment in this area. After discussions with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Wright County Board of Supervisors, local business owners, community organizations, regional partners, schools and healthcare providers, we believe the plant will be an extremely positive addition to our community.”
Prestage Farms has been raising pigs in Iowa for more than a decade and today is located in 30 Iowa counties. The company plans to buy 40 percent of the hogs for the plant from independent farmers, creating a new market option for those farmers.
“Prestage fits well with Iowa because, like so many Iowans, our roots are in agriculture and we value our families and communities.” said Scott Prestage in a press release. “Our commitment to local communities and our care for the environment and being good neighbors will continue.”
The new plant will use systems to clean the air, reduce water and energy needs, and provide a safe work environment. For example, the plant will use air-scrubbing technology and incorporate a water reuse program, which reduces the overall needs for water and wastewater treatment. The plant will utilize innovations in processing and automation technology to help ensure food, employee and environmental safety.
“We value our culture of care and concern for individuals. In our turkey processing plant that started in 2004, we have many employees that have been with us for more than a decade,” said John Prestage. “Our family and managers are in the plants, and employees are cross trained within departments and rotate through departments, which has been key to providing a positive work environment and we plan to do the same in the new pork processing plant.”
Construction is set to begin in the fall of 2016, pending finalization of county and state approvals, with completion and first shift operations beginning in mid-2018. Initially operating one shift, the plant will employ more than 900 people with a total capital investment of more than $240 million.