The investors behind the proposed beef plant in Tama, Iowa, are hoping to have the facility up and running by June, though the plant's owners say that renovations are still ongoing and that more startup capital is needed.
The investors behind Iowa Premium Beef, the company that acquired the former Iowa Quality Beef plant, includes Bruce Rastetter. At one time, reports Cedar Valley Business, he was one of the largest swine and ethanol producers in the nation. Other investors in Iowa Premium include Eric Peterson, general manager of Summit Farms, a cattle feeding operation that Rastetter owns, and Jeff Muchow, a veteran of the packing industry.
The facility closed in 2004, and the group of investors bought it last year, shortly after forming. The investors hope to bring financial stability to the plant. Iowa Premium and TBI Capital of Alden, a majority stakeholder, filed a lawsuit earlier this month against a prospective lender to reclaim $950,000 from a failed financing deal.
"The lawsuit won't affect our plans. We're working on financing ... finalizing a date for the opening," Rastetter said. "This will be a very good thing for the area economically and also for the cattlemen of Iowa."
Company officials originally estimated the plant would process 800 cattle a day and employ 350 people when fully operational. Owners Thursday couldn't verify those figures. When enough money is raised -- the amount wasn't disclosed -- and repair work is complete, officials said, more specifics will be announced.
"We believe it can be efficient and compete long-term," said Rastetter.