Meat processing plant set to open in Monroe County in the next few weeks
The building did come with controversy, but this week the Department of Agriculture gave its approval
Suzanne Lawler, WMAZ (GA)
July 23, 2020
FORSYTH, Ga. — After four years of negotiations and working out logistics, a new meat processing plant is about to open in Monroe County.
This is significant for farmers in the area because the other meat processing plant is in Tifton, and then there's another one in Carrollton.
Joseph Egloff used to make the trek down south.
"We were taking $100,000 a year to Tifton from Monroe County and leaving it in Tifton for processing. Fees and that money will stay in Monroe County," he said.
Egloff is a third generation cattle farmer and now he's in the processing business with a 7,200-square-foot facility on his property.
Not only will his fees stay in Central Georgia, but he's got farmers lined up ready to do business.
"There's 12-15 other people like me that will come to Monroe County now and leave their money here," Egloff calculated.
But not all of Egloff's neighbors were happy about the project.
Many showed up at a county commission meeting back in November to oppose the plan.
The commission ultimately approved the building with some restrictions like how crews will dispose of water.
"All of the wastewater is underground. All of the inedibles are kept behind a door in a cooler, so there's not going to be the smell and a lot of things. There was a lot of fear," Egloff explained.
This cattleman says fear also drove folks to buy up beef when they found it during the pandemic which he says means more people are looking for a whole or a half animal to store in their freezer.
"Right now we're about 27 head back ordered and that's people who have sent a deposit and are waiting on their cow," he said.
The facility will begin accepting cows in the next week or so and they will employ eight people.
Another thing in the agreement is that the city pledged to run city water out to Egloff's property. So far that hasn't happened...