Cattle producers applaud plant organizers
AMES, Iowa -- Iowa cattlemen, working to reopen a beef-packing plant in Tama, hope to make the state's beef a brand name world wide.
"You've got Maine lobster, Maryland crabs, Florida oranges and now, Iowa beef," said Jim Pellett, president of the Iowa Cattlemen.
About 500 cattle producers applauded the Iowa Cattlemen's Association Monday for its role in the renovation of the former IBP beef-packing plant in Tama.
"This is the single most important day for cattlemen in the state," said Wythe Willey, project manager of the plant and past president of Iowa Cattlemen. "The future of the cattleman industry is within a 400 mile radius of where we're standing."
The cattlemen have formed a cooperative, the Iowa Quality Beef Supply Network, to renovate and operate the plant. The city of Tama gave the group approval last month to take over the plant.
Producers were asked to invest in the plant, which could open by November. It is expected to employ 400 people and slaughter nearly 300,000 cattle annually.