BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Korean investors and North Dakota cattle ranchers plan a $90 million beef plant in the state that could process about 1,200 animals each day for overseas and domestic markets.
The Kim and Price Corp. plant would export about 60 percent of its beef to South Korea and sell the rest in the U.S. North Dakota Beef Exports already has accepted letters of intent for nearly 450,000 animals from North Dakota and surrounding states, spokesman Roger Hoyum told The Bismarck Tribune.
Developers are considering several sites, including in the Bismarck-Mandan and Jamestown areas, and hope to have the plant operating by early 2012, employing about 500 people.
“This is a significant opportunity for new wealth to be infused into the strong economy in North Dakota,” Hoyum said. The state’s economy is being bolstered by booming energy production and relatively good years for farmers.
The beef plant company gets its name from Jack Dae Soo Kim, a South Korean businessman, and Bill Price, a North Dakota rancher who exports cattle to the Asian nation of Kazakhstan.
Kim said Korean consumers are more discerning than Americans about meat quality.
“North Dakota is the ideal place to produce quality beef,” he said. “North Dakota is the best state with high genetic quality.”
Scott Ressler, environmental services director for the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, the state’s dominant rancher group, said the plant should boost the state’s cattle industry, which ships most animals to plants in other states for processing.
“It’s an opportunity to increase our profits,” he said.
(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)