The president of the North Carolina based company that’s building a pork processing plant in north-central Iowa is providing an update on the $240 million project.
Ron Prestage says a lot of work this summer was done “below ground” on the site in southern Wright County. “We’ve already dug one of the two wells,” Prestage said. “That well is almost 2,000 feet deep and will produce 2,000 gallons of water a minute. So, it’s a big well. We’re going to do another one this winter, primarily as a backup.”
Just over a year ago, the Prestage Foods project near Eagle Grove was awarded $11.5 million in state tax credits. Construction of the actual buildings on the site is now underway.
Prestage expects the buildings will be done and equipment installed by next fall, but the processing of animals won’t happen right away. “As you can imagine, having to train a new workforce, get all the equipment fine tuned – there’s a lot of computerization that’s going to be in this plant,” Prestage said. “It’s going to take a lot of work and coordination to get all of those things operating smoothly.”
The first hogs to be killed in the plant will likely come in November of 2018, according to Prestage. The facility will be one of the larger employers in the area. “There are going to be 1,000 employees working directly for us, but that doesn’t include a lot of other supportive roles that’ll be played by truck drivers and a lot of other people,” Prestage said.
Prestage chose to locate the pork plant near Eagle Grove after Mason City officials rejected plans for the plant in their city.
(Thanks to Pat Powers, KWQC, Webster City)