Sustainable Beef Pitches $300M Packing Plant in Nebraska

It could bring 875 new jobs, $50 million in budgeted payroll and $1 billion in annual economic impact.

A new $300 million beef packing plant could bring 875 new jobs, $50 million in budgeted payroll and $1 billion in annual economic impact to Nebraska.

Sustainable Beef LLC was created by a group of ranchers and investors who hope to build a regional processing facility in North Platte.

On Thursday, David Briggs, CEO of Sustainable Beef and Western Cooperative Company (WESTCO), announced plans for a facility to handle 400,000 cattle per year. 

Between COVID-19-related supply shortages and the August 2019 fire at Tyson in Holcomb, Kansas, project leaders believe in a need for a mid-sized operation. 

Cargill, JBS, National Beef and Tyson control more than 80 percent of all beef slaughtered in the U.S., and Sustainable Beef doesn't want to take them head-on. 

Local rancher Rusty Kemp, a co-organizer, says there's opportunity "between a 5,000-head-a-day plant and your local butcher.”

Still, the facility would cost more than $200 million to build and span more than 300,000 square feet. 

The company hopes to break ground in the fall and begin operations in 2023, but the plan is contingent on receiving tax increment financing.


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