Unhappy with prices, ranchers look to build own meat plants

Frustrated with persistently low prices, ranchers and others in the beef industry are moving to reverse a long trend of consolidation and planning to open new slaughterhouses.
Nebraska Cattlemen

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Frustrated with persistently low prices, ranchers and others in the beef industry are moving to reverse a long trend of consolidation and planning to open new slaughterhouses. The new plants typically cost more than $300 million, but they still will be much smaller than those owned by the four meat company giants that slaughter over 80% of the nation’s cattle.

That has led to some skepticism about whether the new independent plants can succeed. David Briggs is the CEO of a proposed plant in western Iowa. He says acknowledges the tough odds but says cattle people are risk takers.

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