This $7.5 million, 25,000-sq. ft. building would create approximately 100 jobs during its first year of operation and process approximately 300 cattle per day. The permitting process is expected to take several more months and the new plant’s opening, if built, would likely happen in1 1/2 years. If the project moves ahead, it would be managed by third-generation family processor Jeff Smith and would not involve other members of the family connected with the Draper facility, said Dale Smith, co-owner of Dale T. Smith & Sons Meat Packing Co.
At present, Idaho’s fat cattle are trucked to Utah or Washington state for processing and cull cattle are transported to Arizona or California. Cattle producers selling directly to the plant should see a higher price for their cattle and a hauling-cost savings of at least $50 to $60 a head, Smith said. A local meat supply could also translate into a lower price to consumers, he added.