April 7, 2011
Where’s the kosher beef? It could be South Dakota
A large kosher slaughterhouse and processing plant is being planned for South Dakota.
A spokesman for First American Farms told the Sioux City Journal that the company was eyeing a 300- to 400-acre location in rural Union County for a kosher beef facility.
Linda King, First American’s registered agent in South Dakota, told county commissioners that the plant would employ up to 1,500 people, 90 percent of them local residents, one commissioner told the Journal.
A second commissioner, Ross Jordan, told reporters that the company had found four parcels of land for sale, but the owners would not sell. Not all of the refusals were due to price, Jordan noted—some locals don’t want a slaughterhouse in the neighborhood.
Jordan put the price of the project at $300 million.
The venture is another attempt to fill the gap in the nation’s kosher meat supply since the close of the Agriprocessors kosher slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, following a May 2008 federal immigration raid. Although the facility has reopened under new ownership as Agristar Meat and Poultry, it is not producing as much kosher meat as its predecessor.