Group looks to build beef processing plant


HURON — With prices for local cattle producers becoming lopsided with meat packers’ profits from those same cattle, a group is putting together potential local options for cattle producers to process their beef.

Kim Ulmer of U.S. Beef Producers, LLC is preparing to open a facility in Fort Pierre in August and discussed the potential of opening a facility at the Huron Continental Marketing site on Highway 14.

Ulmer mentioned a facility with a kill floor that could eventually handle 200 per day, but the entire facility would initially be set up to process 50 head per day. The site would be all-inclusive as well, from kill floor to processing to retail in one location, modeled after the facility in Fort Pierre and hopefully beginning construction this fall.

The current status of the cattle market has forced the hand of Ulmer and his fellow investors. “We simply don’t have any other choice,” Ulmer stated. “If we keep going like this, cattle farmers will be going out of business.”

Ulmer is gathering investors for the facility through private investors, and the project will have an investment cost of $400,000, but the investment will be in the future of local farmers.

“The demand is there,” Ulmer said. “We need to focus on marketing the beef as key and change how the farmer brings the cow to market.”

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