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Does Prestage Farms’ newly proposed pork plant location have a better shot than Mason City?

by Ben Nuelle LISTEN: Money Matters 7-12-16

Wright County Board of Supervisors Chair Stan Watne says the Prestage Pork Plant will be the biggest economic project for the county in 23 years but will opponents drive it out of town before things even get started?

Recently, Prestage Farms declared Wright County as the location for their $240 million pork processing plant.

Community Organizer Erica Blair says Iowa Citizens for Community Involvement say it doesn’t matter where the pork plant lands, they oppose it.

“What we want is an agricultural system that is sustainable, keeps soil in place, keeps our water clean but allows for more farmers rather than fewer farmers on the land. The model of agriculture that Prestage uses does not do those things. It hurts communities and diminishes quality of life. We will be opposed to it if it’s in Mason City, Wright County or anywhere else in Iowa.”

Ron Prestage of Prestage Farms says he’s not naive thinking ICCI won’t try to shut this down. But thinks Wright County citizens know more about swine production because it’s in a more rural area than Mason City.

“ICCI is opposed to anything to do with agriculture. They claim they are ok with small independent producers. There’s a lot of small independent producers in Iowa that depend on fairness in market value being present of competition to buy their hogs. When you look at all of the consolidation in the packing industry in recent years that’s been a struggle for them to be confident they are getting fair market value for their pigs.”

Prestage adds this plant will fix that by giving more competition to independent producer’s pigs in Iowa.