Say, just a small meat note. A couple years ago, South Dakota Farmers Union was talking about buying the Demkota Ranch Beef slaughterhouse in Aberdeen. I never heard that that plan bore fruit (or beef tips, as the case may be). But no worries: South Dakota Farmers Union and its regional sister orgs have found a bigger packing partner—the new beef plant going up in Rapid City:
On May 27 it was announced that a $1.1 billion meat packing plant would be opening in Rapid City, and on June 6 Kingsbury and Associates, along with Sirius Realty announced the name of the proposed meat packing plant as well as their partnership with the Farmers Union Industries.
The name of the high-tech meat packing plant will be “Western Legacy Development Corporation”. The meat packing plant is expected to supply 2,500 jobs and if opened today starting pay would be $28 per hour…. The plant will be joined by another facility funded by the Farmers Union Industries.
“We’re excited to bring in our partner Farmers Union Industries where we are partnering together and they will be us on the bi-product facility side, this will flesh out our research and development phase over the next six months and we will break ground beginning of the year,” said Kingsbury, who is part of a five-generation South Dakota ranch. “With a three-year timeline to first-line opening.”
Farmers Union Industries expects to add 40-50 jobs that will specialize in the biproducts of the packing plant [Keith Grant, “Proposed Meat Packing Plant Gets Name, and a New Partnership,” KOTA-TV, 2022.06.08].
2,500 jobs—that’s still smaller than the Smithfield Sioux Falls workforce of about 4,000, but it’s triple the 800 (and growing) at Aberdeen’s Demkota. Farmers Union can get a whole lot of cow entrails from Western Legacy to expand its existing rendering business:
Western Legacy will partner with Farmers Union Industries to provide an on-site rendering facility.
Farmers Union Industries is a subsidiary of the Farmers Union groups in Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The proposed rendering service will be an addition to Central Bi-Products, a Farmers Union Enterprise. Central Bi-Products has three facilities in Minnesota and Iowa processing poultry, ruminant (beef and bison), and porcine bi-products [Codi Vallery-Mills, “Billion-Dollar Meat Plant Will Make Its Home in South Dakota,” The Cattle Business Weekly, 2022.06.08].