Wright Co. greenlights Prestage pork plant

You could say it's been a good week for Prestage Foods.

Over the last few days, the company's proposed pork processing plant overcame two hurdles.

The first came last Thursday as the Iowa Economic Development Authority board approved $11.5 million in state tax credits for the plant, slated to be built near Eagle Grove in Wright County, Iowa.

Read, "Progress for Prestage's pork plant"

On Monday, the Wright County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the development agreement to enable Prestage Foods to build its $240 million pork plant.

"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," Dr. Ron Prestage said in a news release. "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, with more than 900 new full-time positions, will bring a $43 million boost to the payroll in Wright County and surrounding counties. Though the original plan was to break ground in 2016, Prestage told

PORK Network

construction will likely begin in early spring of 2017 with a completion date in late 2018.

"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," Prestage said. "This will help these farmers cut back on transportation costs and keeps the value in the state."

As Ron Birkenholz, Iowa Pork Producers Association Communications Director told

PORK Network, "Iowa's pork producers, especially independent producers, are undoubtedly rejoicing at the news."

"A lot of producers in Wright and surrounding counties wanted this plant and they're going to get it. Prestage Foods of Iowa will give producers another outlet for their pigs, competition will increase and it could prompt an increase in the prices they receive," Birkenholz added. "Industry production exceeds packing capacity by roughly 7 percent at the present time, so this plant will be a welcome addition, as well as the new Seaboard-Triumph plant coming on line next year in Sioux City. It's a great day for the Iowa pork industry!"

Other industry organizations also hailed the board's decision.

"The Iowa Soybean Association recognizes the Wright County Supervisors for moving forward prudently and decisively. Their attention to detail and commitment to managing the project's approval fairly and objectively is to be commended. New pig processing capacity in Iowa is a win-win for communities, farmers and everyone who relies on an economy that's working and producing," the Iowa Soybean Association said in a news release.