On May 4 at 2:00 a.m., Mason City rejected Prestage Farms’ proposed $240 million state-of-the-art pork processing plant that would have employed as many as 1,700 workers to produce 600 million lb. of pork annually. The city initially supported the plant but racism coupled with efforts from the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a group that lobbied heavily against the project, trumped the early successes.
Regardless, Prestage Farms head Dr. Ron Prestage isn’t taking the defeat sitting down. The company still hopes to build a plant. Now the plant just needs a home.
“After the Mason City vote, we were contacted by 19 communities within the state of Iowa as well as at least one community in every state that adjoins Iowa with an interest in us considering them for this plant.”
Another state that doesn’t adjoin Iowa – Kansas – also wanted the company to consider building the plant in that state. However, according to Prestage, that scenario is unlikely.
“Kansas is a great state, but that’s not where my farms are. Logically it doesn’t work for the business model geographically to move those animals that far to the plant,” he said.
Prestage stressed, “We want this plant to be in the state of Iowa.”
For more on the interview, watch the video below. It will also be featured on an upcoming episode of Ag Day TV: