Tyson Foods will spend about $100 million to turn a former Oscar Mayer plant in Sherman, Texas into the company's largest case-ready meat operation.

Initial operations are expected to begin in early 2006. The plant will produce case-ready cuts of fresh pork and beef.

The company also has case-ready meat operations in Amarillo, Texas, Goodlettsville, Tennessee and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The 537,000-square-foot plant was first opened by Oscar Mayer in 1974 and was used to produce bacon, hot dogs and sausage before closing in 1998. The facility was purchased in 2000 by IBP, a company that was subsequently acquired in 2001 by Tyson Foods and is now known as Tyson Fresh Meats.

Portions of beef and pork will be brought to Sherman from other Tyson beef and pork packing facilities for processing and packaging. The pork products will be marketed under the Tyson brand name, while the beef products will be sold in unbranded packaging. The plant, which will have the capacity to handle more than six million pounds of product per week, will serve retail grocery outlets in Texas and nearby states.

Forbes