A beef packing plant in Gordon, Neb., that has been closed since 2008 is in the process of reopening under new ownership. The plant was formerly owned by Agriprocessors Inc., but it closed after the company’s Postville, Iowa, facility was raided by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Envorcement and the operators were eventually convicted on fraud charges.

The plant’s new owner is Open Range Beef, an investment group registered in the Omaha area. The facility will operate strictly as a beef processing facility with no rendering plant. At peak capacity, the plant will process 250 head of cattle per day.

The city of Gordon and First Bank Business Capital in St. Louis, Mo., acquired the Gordon facility and equipment at a 2009 trustee sale, reports The Fence Post (www.thefencepost.com). The city of Gordon had a lien on the land because former owners didn’t meet the terms of a $500,000 state economic development grant. First Bank Business Capital had a lien on the plant’s equipment.

City Manager Fred Hlava noted that the plant has been through several re-openings during his tenure, but added that it will provide job opportunities to local residents and offer area livestock owners a better price for their animals. With the recent shutdown of the Northern Beef Packers plant in Aberdeen, S.D., the next closest packing plants for livestock producers in the Gordon area are Lexington, Hastings, Neb., and Fort Morgan, Colo.

“One of the things that makes this packing plant attractive is being mid-sized,” Hlava says. “Unlike the mega-sized plants that process between 1,500 and 3,000 animals per day, the Gordon packing plant will take 200 to 250 animals each day. That gives them great flexibility for changing operation modes at any given time, which means they can do custom slaughtering, which is mutually beneficial to both the producer and the packer.”

Source: The Fence Post