The Iowa Premium Beef facility in Tama, Iowa, hosted a media and special visitor tour last week in preparation for the plant’s opening at the end of the month. CEO Jeffrey Johnson guided a group of about 30 media and other visitors through every part of the project, which he said will cost around $48.6 million by the time it’s done, reports the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.
The new plant is expected to employ 600 people at start-up, expanding to 1,000 as production ramps up. It will process 1,100 head per day at the onset, with a maximum potential of more than 2,000. The plant will open about three years after Iowa Premium Beef formed and subsequently acquired the former Iowa Quality Beef plant, which closed in 2004.
“We sat down as a management team and talked about how we were going to rebuild this facility, how we were going to come to market, so we really did,” he said. “We came back and the investors really backed up a bit to get truly, what is our plan, the whole thing, whether it’s environmental or food safety or how we were going to market. We put a lot of work into it before we really went out and said, ‘OK, now we’re going.’”