Deceber 5, 2003



Tyson To Upgrade Beef Processing Plant in Dakota City, Nebraska, US


A major renovation is planned for the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Dakota City, Nebraska, in the United States, company officials announced on Wednesday. The multi-million dollar project involves construction of a new beef processing addition and other improvements that will strengthen the plant's long-term viability.

The Dakota City facility was the first beef processing facility ever constructed by IBP, now known as Tyson Fresh Meats. Three processing rooms were built within the plant during the mid to late 1960s as demand for boxed beef grew.

"These production areas have served us well over the years, however, the development of new products and product specifications requires some changes," Gene Leman, senior group vice president-Tyson Fresh Meats, said. "We believe consolidating our existing processing operations into one new facility will improve product flow and our ability to produce more value-added products. This project is significant because it means the plant will continue to be a vital part of the local economy for many years to come."

A new 84,500 square foot, two-story addition will be constructed on the east side of the Dakota City plant to house the new processing operation as well as a cooler, shipping docks and a box shop. Ergonomically designed work stations will be installed as part of the project to enhance worker safety and health.

The addition will connect with the company's four-story office building. Plant staff will likely use some areas on the first floor of the office building. The employment and security building east of the plant will be torn down. The plant's existing processing areas will be vacated after the new processing addition opens. This will provide space for the possible introduction of new product lines in the future.

"Tyson Fresh Meats, formerly IBP, has been a longtime corporate member of this community and we couldn't be happier about company's decision to reinvest in Dakota City," said Dakota City Mayor Chuck Carson. "Tyson has been a crucial part of the tri-state economy for many years and this project further demonstrates its ongoing commitment to this area. We are certainly looking forward to the completion of the new facility."

"The upcoming renovation of the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Dakota City is a positive indicator of the company's commitment to this facility," according to Stu Miller, deputy director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. "This plant is not only a major employer, but a very important part of the economic base of northeast Nebraska and will have a significant impact on future economic stability in that part of the state."

Work on the improvement project, which will cost tens of millions of dollars, is expected to begin in early 2004 with completion scheduled for fall 2005. Tyson Engineering will provide oversight of the project.

The company spends more than $1 billion a year to buy cattle to supply the plant.

The Dakota City plant is involved in carcass beef production and beef processing, as well as hide processing and tanning. Fresh vacuum-packed boxed beef - such as beef loins, ribs, rounds and ground beef - are sold to wholesalers, retailers, hotels, restaurant and institutions. Bone, fat and trimmings are recovered and used in the making of various foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and clothing. Hides are either salt-cured or tanned before being shipped to leather manufacturers around the world. The finished leather is subsequently used to make such things as shoes, clothing and automobile upholstery.

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