Texas cattle producers will invest $670 million in a new beef processing plant in Amarillo that’s expected to create 1,600 jobs.
Producer Owned Beef’s state-of-the-art facility, designed to slaughter 3,000 cattle a day, will be backed by nearly $24 million in state and local tax incentives when it breaks ground next year. More than $12 million will come from the Texas Enterprise Fund, the governor’s pot of money for closing economic development deals.
“The importance of Texas Enterprise Fund along with Amarillo EDC backing for this project cannot be overstated,” said Casey Cameron, CEO of Producer Owned Beef, in a statement. “Our commitment is to build and operate a beef processing facility that stands out from the rest of the industry in animal well-being, environmental protections, team member safety and ergonomics, and the highest quality beef products.”
Producer Owned Beef said its cooperative business model seeks to restore balance in the beef industry by reversing pay disparities for cattle producers. As owners of the company, producers will receive a percentage of wholesale beef prices for the cattle they supply and a share of the profits from the plant.
“Many of our ranchers and feeders are third-, fourth- or even fifth-generation producers who have invested their lives in feeding Americans,” said board member Monte Cluck. “With this model, where producers are also owners, we’re creating economic sustainability for small and medium-sized producers by ensuring they receive a greater share of the financial upside for the hard work they do.”
The plant, on JackRabbit Road between Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 287, is expected to begin production in 2025.
According to AgDaily, four companies now harvest 85% of the U.S. grain-fed cattle processed for steaks, roasts, and other cuts of meat for consumers.
“Beef and beef production are part of Amarillo’s culture and history, with nearly 28% of cattle fed in the United States coming from the Texas Panhandle region,” Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson told AgDaily.
In addition to the state grant, other local incentives for the facility include 600 acres of land and breaks on its school property taxes and city-backed water and sewer infrastructure improvements.
An economic study by Waco-based Perryman Group estimates the plant will add nearly $1 billion to the state’s gross product in its first year of operations and produce over $100 million in new state and local tax receipts. The plant’s annual payroll is expected to top $121 million.