A Tyson Foods facility in Cherokee, Iowa, that closed four years ago will reopen under new ownership.

A newly-formed business called Iowa Food Group has purchased the facility, which was once part of Tyson’s Prepared Foods business. The plant has been offline since September 2014, but Tyson Foods had retained its lease on the facility.

According to a report in the Sioux City Journal, Iowa Food Group will utilize the plant as a further processing plant, where it will produce value-added pork, beef and poultry products, Cherokee County Economic Development Director Bill Anderson said.

An estimated 450 people will be employed at the plant, Anderson said, which would be comparable to the amount of people who worked at the facility when it was part of Tyson Foods’ operations.

Anderson, a former state senator, praised Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and state economic development director Debi Durham playing roles to help put the shuttered facility back into production.


The plant was built in 1965 by Wilson Foods. Tyson obtained the facility in 2001, when it acquired IBP Inc.

According to a Des Moines Register report, the plant could open as soon as early 2019.

Tyson Foods announced the decision to close the plant in Cherokee at the same time it revealed it would close other Prepared Foods plants in Buffalo, New York, and Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

The company stated at the time that the decision to close the plants was due to a combination of factors, which included changing product needs, the age of the Cherokee facility and prohibitive cost of its renovation and the distance of the Buffalo and Santa Teresa plants from their raw material supply base in the Midwest. In addition, the company said that the plant closures would allow the company to shift some of the production and equipment to other, more cost-efficient Tyson Foods locations.

Tyson's exit from its lease on the building follows a long list of recent acquisitions, divestitures and investments made within recent months.