Smithfield and ContiGroup Will Build Beef Plant in Oklahoma

The new processing plant will create 2,500 to 3,000 jobs.

Smithfield Beef Group and ContiGroup Companies announced Wednesday that they would build a new beef processing plant in Texas County, Oklahoma, in a 50/50 joint venture.

Construction of the plant is expected to begin in January 2007 and cost about $200 million. The 650,000 square-foot facility, which will be the first of its size in more than 20 years in the United States, is expected to create 2,500 to 3,000 jobs and process 5,000 head per day at full capacity.

"We reviewed more than 30 potential locations in five states, met with local economic development and agricultural leaders, and visited a short list of ten potential sites before deciding that Texas County is ideally suited for our new facility," says Richard V. Vesta, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Beef Group.

Vesta says that the Texas County location is ideal because of its proximity to water supply, nearby feedyards, and a labor pool. He also says the companies received strong cooperation from state officials.

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