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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. ursula says:

    Profit for the industry, and what does it give the consumer, E Coli? Big, better and quicker, is not always in OUR best interest.

    1. pandoramn says:

      Ursula – Why are you assuming that this plant would increase the possibility of E coli? You obviously don’t know any North Dakotans…if you did, you’d know that “quicker” is not really in their vocabulary… one of the reasons I left there, actually. However, in the case of livestock raising and/or food preparation, I’m proud to say that North Dakota farmers and ranchers take it slow and plan it right. I’m really happy this is in the works. It’s about time ND ranchers get a boost in their business prospects.

  2. Ursula says:

    Interesting comment. Can you tell me, with the increase of livestock in crowded stalls,, how will they be dealing with the waste? Also, what will be cattle be fed? I am sure it will not be grass nor “home on the range.”

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