Premium Pork Allied Producers, a newly developed pork cooperative, is looking at 60 acres in the St. Joseph, Mo., stockyards area as a possible site for a new corporate headquarters and pork packing plant. The cooperative also is considering Albert Lea, Minn., as potential site for a plant and headquarters combo. Wherever it lands, the facility could eventually employ 1,000 people and slaughter 8,000 hogs a day.

In 2000, Seaboard Farms planned to build a processing plant near St. Joseph and drew stiff community opposition.

However, it seems they are now willing to consider a Premium Pork plant. Of course, the economy has changed in the past few years, which makes the extra jobs more appealing.

Albert Lea residents have already expressed concern about the potential community pressure that the added plant workers might bring to the area. In either city, a new pork plant could provide a much-needed economic boost. And even though the co-op intends to slaughter its own contracted hogs, it could help relieve some of the slaughter capacity pressure that the industry faces.

Premium Pork is a new cooperative, headed by former Seaboard Farms' executive Rick Hoffman. However, the "pork producer owners" still don't want their identities revealed.