Sustainable Beef LLC to build beef processing plant in North Platte

A group of Nebraska cattlemen and investors have taken it upon themselves to improve the beef industry in their state and region, with the March 18 announcement of the development of a beef processing plant in North Platte, Nebraska.

In recent years, the beef industry experienced disruption due to a fire and shut down at the Holcomb, Kansas, beef processing plant and the COVID-19 pandemic. These events exposed significant gaps in the processing chain.

Sustainable Beef LLC is looking to build a small processing plant in North Platte, Nebraska, in hopes to improve the regional beef supply pipelines. The location is ideal, developers say, with the ample beef supply and proximity to Interstate Highway 80. The proposed plant is expected to exceed 300,000 square feet and cost more than $200 million to construct.

According to a news release, tax increment financing will be a necessary component for the required capital stack to make this project a reality. Sustainable Beef, LLC is working through the municipal process and hopes to break ground fall 2021 and begin plant operations in early 2023.

“Sustainable Beef is looking forward to working with the City of North Platte in building a new beef plant that will add value to the cattle industry and provide economic benefits to the region,” said Rusty Kemp, a Nebraska rancher.

In a story by the Nebraska Rural Radio Association, the city of North Platte recognizes the importance of the beef industry and the economic impact the plant could have on the city. Matthew Kibbon, city administrator, said there are a number of things that could contribute to the current and future successes of North Platte.

“From a strategic standpoint the project focuses on enhancing the area’s cattle industry, growing the area’s workforce and provides an opportunity to thrive in today’s global economy,” Kibbon said.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts agreed and said these disruptions by fires, floods and the pandemic have reinforced the need for greater capacity to process Nebraska beef.

“Our ranchers and feeders raise the best cattle anywhere in the world. Sustainable Beef will provide them with an excellent, local option to process livestock so that Nebraska beef can help feed even more people around the world,” Ricketts said. “I applaud the initiative of Nebraska’s ag community to build this new beef plant.”

Gary Person, president and CEO of North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation recognizes the impact agriculture has on the surrounding area

“When you look at the North Platte area agriculture economy and the profound positive financial impact this will have, through major investment and job creation, it will truly help diversify our economy and build upon our natural economic strengths,” Person said.

According to the news report, Sustainable Beef has engaged economist Ernie Goss to complete an economic impact study to demonstrate the substantial benefit this project could have for Lincoln County. As well, they have engaged Live Better Beef LLC to assist the project from concept to completion. The new plant is budgeted to have a $50 million payroll and estimated annual economic impact on Lincoln County of $1 billion.

“We have seen tremendous support from the cattle industry and the city of North Platte in bringing the idea of more capacity to the beef industry,” David Briggs, CEO Sustainable Beef said. “The team we have put together to help us build this new plant is top notch and committed to Nebraska Beef.”