Greetings, My Fellow Missourians
I have been keeping in touch with David DeVito from Republic Foods on a weekly basis to keep up with their progress. Republic Foods is a beef processing plant located in Lone Jack, MO that I toured with other state officials last month. Republic Foods is still running 5 days a week and processing about 275 head of cattle per day. About 70% of cow harvested are from Missouri and the majority of the lean-trim beef sold to retailers is in Missouri.
David informed me that over the three-day Independence Day holiday, they installed new equipment totaling a quarter of a million dollars. This new equipment will allow them to expand production and harvest up to 400 head per day by Aug. 1.
I have been keeping up with the Missouri Department of Agriculture and what they plan to offer meat processing plants with the appropriated $20 million in funds. That information has not been released but should be available after July 15, 2020. Anyone in the meat processing industry that qualifies will be able to apply for funding. Once the information is released, I will update you. You can also check the Department of Agriculture’s website at: https://agriculture.mo.gov/.
When attending the Joint Ag Committee in June, I was interviewed by writer Brian Hauswirth from Missourinet. Brian wrote a great article and I wanted to share it. To hear the audio interview please visit: Missourinet Interview
By Brian Hauswirth, Missourinet
A veteran Missouri lawmaker who serves on the House Agriculture Policy Committee says the newest modern beef processing plant built in the United States now has about 175 employees in western Missouri’s Lone Jack.
Lone Jack is a small town of about 1,000, and is southeast of Lee’s Summit. It’s located in Jackson County. State Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, tells Missourinet that Republic Foods started operating the plant in March. He says it is processing about 250 head of beef cows per day. Missourinet contacted the company, which confirms the numbers provided by Love.
“These are what you call hamburger cows,” Love says. “They come in, they’re completely deboned, the meat is, then it’s processed into hamburger. They call it lean-trim.” Love says about 75 percent of the cows are purchased in Missouri.
Love and other state lawmakers toured the plant in June, and were joined by representatives of the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA). Love says the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and Missouri Farm Bureau also participated in the tour.
“I think there were eight legislators, seven of them from the House, all serve on the Ag (House Agriculture Policy) Committee,” says Love. “And then we had one senator, Senator Justin Brown from Rolla.” Senator Brown co-chairs the Joint Committee on Agriculture.
Love, who’s finishing his eighth and final year in the House because of term limits, is a member of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. He says it’s possible that the Lone Jack plant could receive some of the $20 million in assistance appropriated by the Legislature this year for meat processors dealing with COVID-19. The $20 million is for plants with less than 200 employees. It’s designed for support, workforce assistance, equipment and capital improvements.
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