A new proposed beef processing plant in North Platte, Neb., would employ 875 people and process 400,000 head of cattle a year. The plant would be operated by Sustainable Beef LLC, the packing company that was part of the WESTCO cooperative.

The plant would represent a nearly $300 million investment, reports the Associated Press.

“Sustainable Beef is looking forward to working with the City of North Platte in building a new beef plant that will add value to the cattle industry and provide economic benefits to the region,” said Rusty Kemp, a Nebraska rancher. According to the High Plains Journal, the plant’s developers hopes to break ground in fall of 2021 and begin operations in early 2023.

“Our ranchers and feeders raise the best cattle anywhere in the world. Sustainable Beef will provide them with an excellent, local option to process livestock so that Nebraska beef can help feed even more people around the world,” said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. “I applaud the initiative of Nebraska’s ag community to build this new beef plant.”

Sustainable Beef CEO David Briggs pointed to the COVID pandemic and the 2019 fire in a Kansas beef plant as things that have disrupted the beef supply chain. “We’re not looking to take on the Big Four packers,” he said. “But there’s a lot of room to operate between a 5,000-head-a-day plant and your local butcher.”

Source: High Plains Journal, AP via Washington Times