GREELEY, Colo. – JBS USA has embarked on a $95 million expansion of the company’s beef processing plant in Grand Island, Nebraska. Upgrades to the plant are to include new animal handling facilities, a state-of-the-art, temperature-controlled harvest floor and an improved configuration designed to enhance worker experience, food safety and product quality.

The project entails a 107,000-sq.-ft. expansion in addition to the facility enhancements. Construction already is underway while operations continue uninterrupted. JBS USA, a unit of São Paulo, Brazil-based JBS S.A., expects the project to be complete in early 2021. Currently, the plant processes nearly 1 billion lbs. of beef products per year.

“JBS Grand Island has been a standard-bearer for American beef for over half a century,” said Zack Ireland, plant manager. “Our team sends the best US beef products the country has to offer to customers both domestically and globally. Today’s announcement strengthens our long-standing commitment to local farmers and ranchers, our team members, key customers and the community of Grand Island, whose support has been critical to our ongoing success.”

Forecasts for rising international demand for US beef prompted the investment, the company said. JBS Grand Island exports beef to more than 30 countries, including Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Singapore, under the 1855 Black Angus, Swift and Swift Black Angus brands.

“Today’s announced expansion is an important strategic investment to secure Grand Island as an unquestioned leader in food quality, animal care and beef innovation for years to come,” said Tim Schellpeper, president of JBS USA Fed Beef. “Around the world, from North and South America to Asia and Africa, consumers crave the superior taste and quality of American beef. Partnering with leading Nebraska and other area beef producers, we are proud to invest in a vibrant future for US beef.”

Swift & Co. built the Grand Island plant in 1965. JBS acquired the plant in 2007.