Officials from the state, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the nation’ssecond largest meat packer signed an agreement today which sets plans inmotion for a new, 100-million dollar beef processing plant. Governor Vilsack says the 46-thousand Iowans who produce beef have anopportunity to invest in the plant.Bob Henningsen of the Iowa Department of Economic Development expects manycommunities to compete to be the site for the plant. He says it will be amatter of matching the best location with the new plant.Excel, the meatpacker which is involved, will ask cattle producers to signcontracts to provide high-quality beef to the plant. Excel’s Ken Bull is incharge of buying cattle for Excel. He says the plant is a way to link theproducers and processors together. He says it will be more efficient andmeet consumer demand.The new plant will produce microwave-ready beef entres. There’s not been anew meatpacking plant built in Iowa since the 1960s — and the last NEWmeatpacking plant built in the U-S was constructed in 1972. Excel ownsplants in Ottumwa and Orange City. State officials began the process oflooking for a new beef packer when Monfort closed its Des Moines facility.
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