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Rounds: Small Meatpackers Need Socialist Assistance to Survive Against Capitalist Competitors

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].

Senator M. Michael Rounds, who spectacularly failed to promote local beef during his governorship, cheers this socialism to save us from the natural outcome sof unchecked global capitalism:

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!


  1. O 2023-10-31 08:43

    At 4,000 head a year, how long does it take to repay a $21,000,000 loan?

  2. P. Aitch 2023-10-31 09:28

    Modern Socialism?
    Q ~ “Is buying essentials as a group always cheaper?”
    A ~ That’s correct! Buying essential items in bulk as a group nearly always leads to cost savings. When purchasing in larger quantities, you can take advantage of wholesale prices and discounts. Additionally, sharing the cost among group members can help reduce individual expenses. It’s a great strategy to save money while ensuring everyone has the essentials they need.
    – prompt engineered by P. AItch

  3. John 2023-10-31 09:44

    O, did you miss the fine print . . . about loan forgiveness.

  4. jerry 2023-10-31 10:31

    Man, the stench from that place will drive a feller to drinkin. The place better have good fire insurance as the last meat packing plant in the area, burned to the ground on Rapid Creek. Wonder if the meat will be Kosher or Halal or a combo plate? Will the EB-5 crew have a come-back? Where is Joop? So many questions on such a huge farce. What about Next Generation and their $1.1 Billion dollar plant in Rapid City?

  5. sx123 2023-10-31 11:03

    Bound to fail. Not enough volume to put a dent in anything. No pricing leverage. Will attempt to sell as premium products but public doesn’t care.
    If small packers were viable, the free market would have created a lot of them. Reality is that they don’t have the economy of scale.

  6. Tom 2023-10-31 12:29

    Will Wall Drug have a meat department?

  7. Arlo Blundt 2023-10-31 14:35

    I’m for giving the small, efficient packing plant idea a try….it’s grass roots, bottom up economics and locally owned. There is plenty of room to grow. The giant, corporate meat packing conglomerates are at a tipping point. Let them service the Sam’s Clubs. People want high quality, and these smaller plants could provide that to discriminating consumers.

  8. Francis Schaffer 2023-10-31 16:16

    Math is a very precise discipline and you can wager a misprint can be quickly pointed to be a causal observer.
    15 cattle per week isn’t 4,000 head at least on this planet.
    It is 15 x 52 = 780 cattle per year.

  9. jakc 2023-10-31 18:08

    15 a day Francis. at 75 a week for a five day week, tha’ts about 3,900. Still, a very small volume.

  10. Francis Schaffer 2023-10-31 19:40

    I see that now, but it did say 15 a week earlier.

  11. Francis Schaffer 2023-10-31 19:41

    My apologies for reading it incorrectly.

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