Without any surprises, March 4th will be opening day for new Prestage plant


Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City

via Radio Iowa - January 8, 2019


After nearly three years of planning and construction, an opening date is now set for the $240-million Prestage Farms pork processing plant in north-central Iowa.


Ron Prestage is CEO of the North Carolina-based company which is opening its newest facility near Eagle Grove.


“It’s been a long journey to try to get to this point and now we’re just doing some final phases and a lot of cleaning and testing and organizing,” Prestage says. “We’re looking forward to getting it completed.”


After many months of construction work on the large facility, the last duties before opening are being checked off the list.


“Most of what’s being done is testing all the IT stuff, the computers and trying to coordinate the way all the equipment works and checking out motors,” Prestage says. “You have to do a phenomenal amount of cleaning before you do final installation of conveyor belts, for example.” Otherwise, he says, grit and dust could cause problems down the line.


Progress is far enough along that a date is being set to open the facility.


“We’re pretty comfortable right now that unless we get any unexpected surprises or whatever, that we’ll be ready to start the actual operations in the plant probably the first week of March,” Prestage says.


A tentative start date is set for March 4th, though Prestage says they may only process one or two loads of hogs that day as everyone and everything is tested out.


“March 2nd is when we’re planning on having a kind of open house and inviting local people, local politicians,” Prestage says…