Governor Terry Branstad says he’s pleased Prestage Farms chose another Iowa location after the City Council in Mason City deadlocked on a development agreement for the proposed pork processing facility.
“There was a lot of other states wanted ’em — South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin,” Branstad says. “Fortunately, we had a lot of other communities in Iowa that wanted it. I’m glad it’s going to be here.”
Prestage announced plans a month ago to put the $240 million facility five miles south of Eagle Grove. Branstad says it wasn’t a given that Prestage was going to stick with a location in Iowa as their next choice.
“It’s going to be jobs for Iowans here in north Iowa, but it’s also a market for our independent pork producers, so that’s a good thing and we’re pleased that they’ve chosen to locate in Wright County,” Branstad says. “It looks like everything is going forward on that.”
Wright County is a perfect fit for the facility, according to Branstad.
“Wright County is a county that has a lot of pork production. It’s right in the heart of our corn-growing area,” Branstad says, “and, of course, corn and soybeans are the food that goes into the pork.”
Branstad lobbied Prestage Farms to consider other sites in Iowa when the deal in Mason City fell through.
“This is a family-owned company. I was impressed by them,” Branstad says. “…I’m glad they chose Wright County and I know the Wright County people are excited about it as well.”
On Monday, the Wright County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on a proposed urban renewal plan. The board has scheduled to vote on an economic development agreement with the company at its August 22 meeting.
(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)