Prestage Farms plans for new pork plant

by Erica Shaffer
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Prestage is taking on a new plant in northern Iowa.  

MASON CITY, Iowa – Prestage Farms announced plans to build a new fresh pork processing facility in Mason City in conjunction with the creation of a new company, Prestage Foods of Iowa, LLC. The project must receive final state approvals.

The plans include a facility covering more than 650,000 sq. ft. with a capacity to slaughter 10,000 hogs per day. As many as 1,000 workers will be employed at the facility to operate one shift with possibility of expanding to a second shift in the future. Prestage expects the plant project to cost more than $240 million with an annual payroll of more than $40 million.

Dr. Ron Prestage, Prestage Farms
Ron Prestage, DVM 

“We are excited to take the next logical step in vertical integration by building a new high tech pork plant in Mason City, Iowa,” Ron Prestage, DVM, said  in a statement on behalf of the Prestage family. “We see this as an opportunity to secure the future of our family business, its employees, and our contract growers, whether they are in the Carolinas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas or Iowa.”

The rationale for building the plant stems from consolidation in the pork packing industry which has “decreased competition for live hogs and helped depress prices to hog producers…” The company said building the plant will enable Prestage Farms to increase competition and maximize the value of its hogs. The company does not anticipate any major shifts in its existing production systems.

“Having produced market hogs in Iowa for the past dozen years, we believe Mason City is the right place for us to strategically build this new plant,” Prestage added.

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