Prestage Foods plant gets green light from Wright County

Prestage Foods plant gets green light from Wright County

Iowa pig farmers, especially those who raise and sell their own pigs, are celebrating the news today that a new pork processing facility will be built near Eagle Grove in Wright County.

The Wright County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the development agreement enabling Prestage Foods of Iowa to build a $240 million pork processing plant near Eagle Grove.

One of the many supportive signs posted in Eagle Grove.

During the past six weeks, several public hearings have taken place to provide information and answer questions about the project. Many business leaders, community organization members, farmers and citizens supported the project and spoke in favor of the plant’s construction.

“We are pleased that the Wright County Board of Supervisors granted us approval to move forward with this new, state-of-the-art packing plant,” said Ron Prestage, DVM. “We are investing in Iowa and believe it is good for the state, good for agriculture and good for our family-owned and run business.”

The plant will be a $43 million boost to the payroll in Wright County and will provide economic benefits to surrounding counties as well. More than 900 new full-time jobs will be created with the lowest paid workers beginning at more than $37,000 per year, plus full benefits. Average wages at the plant are expected to be more than $47,000.

“We have been raising hogs in Iowa for more than a decade and plan to buy 40 percent of the hogs for the plant from local, independent farmers,” says Prestage. “This will help these farmers cut back on transportation costs and keeps the value in the state.”

An artist’s rendering of the new pork processing facility.

The Prestage family is committed to running a sustainable organization by placing emphasis on clean air, water quality and energy efficiency when planning for this plant. The new, state-of-the-art facility will use the most modern technology to ensure sustainability goals are met.

“We look forward to completing the design for the plant, selecting businesses to work with for plant building supplies and construction, and breaking ground in early spring 2017,” said Prestage Foods Chief Operating Officer Jere Null.

The plant is scheduled to be completed in late 2018.

The construction project will employ Iowa contractors from many disciplines, including steel workers, plumbers, electricians, fabricators, millwrights, pipe fitters, concrete installers, excavators, landscapers and roofers. Prestage is using Epstein Contractors out of Chicago as its architect and general contractor due to Epstein’s extensive experience in building food plants across the globe.