Conservative Faulk County rancher Troy Hadrick is taking a socialist handout to get his meatpacking project off the ground. So are some nice folks from Wall who hope to expand their cattle-grinding capacity with a USDA-subsidized packing plant in New Underwood:
The 2,400 square-foot Wall Meat Processing plant is the current home base of an aggressive, innovative new ownership team that has plans to revolutionize how South Dakota ranchers get their animals processed and expand opportunities for local consumers to buy meat raised almost in their own backyards.
…With a capacity of only 15 head of cattle per week, the plant hardly makes a dent in processing the roughly 1.5 million beef cows raised in South Dakota in 2022, the overwhelming majority of which are trucked out of state for processing.
…The Wall owners and a third partner recently launched a new entity, I-90 Meats, which plans to build a $21 million, 30,000 square-foot meat processing plant in New Underwood, a town of 600 people located south of Interstate 90 midway between Wall and Rapid City.
The high-tech plant would have capacity to process 15 cattle a day, or about 4,000 a year, and would include a retail market, agri-tourism learning center and culinary demonstration area.
The plant, with a proposed groundbreaking in early 2024 and projected opening in 2025, could employ as many as 50 people with wages up to $36 an hour, according to I-90 Meats co-owner Ken Charfauros.
…I-90 Meats, for example, received a $3.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to get its operation started and has a USDA guaranteed loan package of $21 million, Charfauros said [Bart Pfankuch, “South Dakota Beef Industry Sees Potential in Small, Local Meat Plants,” South Dakota News Watch, 2023.10.30].
Rounds said government can play a role in encouraging growth in processing capacity by providing one-time, startup financial incentives while adding more flexibility in labeling and marketing rules to create opportunities for growth in smaller, regionally based processing operations in South Dakota.
…“We want to continue to provide alternatives other than the four major processors who process not just American beef but a lot of foreign beef as well,” Rounds said. “Anything we can do to make sure that Americans who want to buy high quality American beef are able to do so, the better off we’re going to be” [Pfankuch, 2023.10.30].
Rounds cheers socialist beef plants, Marty Jackley pushes for government intervention in the social media marketplace… wow! Keep those critiques of capitalism coming, South Dakota Republicans!