DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. — The empirical family of companies, formerly known as Beef Products Inc. (BPI), broke ground on its new beef processing facility in Garden City, Kan., on Oct. 22.

The new facility will supplement the company’s existing production in South Sioux City, Neb., and incorporate similar equipment and processing technologies. The company’s investment will total $250 million.

“The increased demand for empirical’s lean ground beef requires us to significantly increase our processing capacity to meet the growing needs of our customers,” said Craig Letch, president of empirical foods inc. “This presents a tremendous growth opportunity for empirical and we are excited about what it means for the future of our company and the communities where we live and work.”

The company plans to have the plant operational by 2023. When completed, it will increase empirical’s current ground beef processing capacity by 50%. 

The facility’s plans were introduced in December 2019 and the company expects to employ 250 workers in the Garden City region. 

According to empirical, the new plant will be designed to reduce worker contact and provide the appropriate spacing.

During its ground break announcement, the company committed to investing $300,000 in an industrial maintenance program at Garden City Community College to help train future facility operators.

“After a long evaluation period to identify the perfect location for our new facility, we were pleased to settle on Garden City and could not have identified a better, more welcoming community,” said Nick Roth, president of empirical technology inc. “The State of Kansas, Garden City and the Finney County Economic Development Corporation have been excellent partners to the beef industry and companies like ours.”