Kingsbury & Associates and Sirius Realty of Rapid City, S.D. and Greenville, S.C., have announced plans to construct an 8,000 head per day processing facility in Western South Dakota. The 1-million square foot facility will process beef and include a specialty bison line. The companies are currently in the research and development phase of the $1.1 billion project.
"Our aim is to restore competition in American meat processing," said Megan Kingsbury, president and Managing Partner, who is spearheading the project. "I am a fifth generation producer from Western South Dakota, and I know how difficult it is right now for us as producers to be profitable. I want to fix that. We want to compete with the big four meat packing giants and be that all-important ‘second bidder’ in the cash market.”
Kingsbury said the plant will build a brand that is America first, focusing on procuring American cattle and feeding American citizens affordable, high-quality protein. “Our grocery store shelves should never be empty of meat again."
The proposed facility will focus on bringing in and developing new technologies in robotics and artificial intelligence that make processing easier, safer, and more efficient, all while producing a more consistent end-product.
"With graduates from the South Dakota School of Mines, Dakota State University, and others, we have the technological experts to build a high-tech facility never seen before in the United States, right here. We want to attract these young people to live and work here in Rapid City with great paying jobs and by helping build a great community to live in. I plan to live here for the next fifty years, and I want to build a community we are all proud of," added Kingsbury.
The recently announced Black Hills Industrial Park is the preferred site and is adjacent to Highway 79 and Old Folsom Road, just south of Rapid City.
"Our priorities include being the best neighbor anyone could ask for. We will employ and develop technologies to mitigate any negative effect people may associate with processing facilities,” said Kingsbury, adding that the plant will also capture methane to help power the facility, utilize renewable energy sources, recycle most of the water used daily and have efficient transportation plans.
"The American rancher is less than a generation away from being extinct if we don't do something fast. We've already seen the high cost of meat in stores and the low prices producers are receiving for their animals. There is profit in this industry up and down the supply chain if we restore competition. When that happens everyone who produces and consumes high-quality beef wins."
The project is expected to take three years to compete and will boast 2,500 jobs created.