COLUMBUS JUNCTION, IOWA – Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., the beef and pork unit of Tyson Foods, announced approval by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for a nearly $540,000 upgrade to the operations of its Columbus Junction, Iowa-based pork processing facility.

According to the IEDA, Tyson plans to spend nearly $15.4 million on the capital investment project in Louisa County, which includes buying new machines and reorganizing parts of the facility. It will also create 10 jobs including eight that have a qualifying wage of $19.65 per hour. The facility currently employs around 1,300 people.

Liz Croston, Tyson spokesperson, said this was the last pork facility that needed to be upgraded with a controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) system. 

“We’ve done extensive research into the use of CAS and found it to be an acceptable alternative to electrical stunning,” Croston said. “Our Louisa County plant is the final pork plant to implement this process, and the positions associated with the tax credits are related to implementing the CAS process at the facility.”

The Columbus Junction facility produces pork loins, pork shoulders, hams and spare ribs.

The Des Moines Register also reported that since the incentive will be used in Columbus Junction, a 2018 project by IEDA and Tyson was canceled at a Perry, Iowa, plant to upgrade its chilling system.