Organic beef harvesting facility looks good to commissioners
By James Tilson
MANTI—The Sanpete County Commission greeted the news of a potential new cattle “harvesting” facility with enthusiasm and hoped the facility will open soon.
Paul Davis, representing American Beef, L.L.C., spoke to the commission about the potential impact opening a beef rendering plant in an abandoned dairy farm would have on the roads adjacent to the plant. However, the commissioners asked Davis many questions about how the plant would work, getting more excited with each answer.
Davis told the commissioners the new plant would aim to take advantage of new markets for “organic and all-natural grass-fed beef” by taking local cattle, raised on grass and without chemical fertilizers, and processing it in an environmentally sensitive manner.
While acknowledging not all local cattle may fit exactly into their desired qualities, Davis said, “the better shape the cattle is in, the more we pay for it.” The new plant would be approximately 50,000 square feet, located to the east of Gunnison on Sugar Factory Lane on the site of an abandoned dairy farm. It would employ 80 employees, each of whom would be paid at least $15 an hour.
Davis said his business has already been in communication with Gunnison officials, who have preliminarily agreed to supply 100 acre feet of water, and the power source is already hooked up.
The plant would only use organic detergents in its processing. No blood or solids from the cattle would be released from the plant. All parts of the cow, including all blood and viscera, would be collected and, depending on the part and its potential use, sold to secondary users. Even urine and manure would be collected and sold as fertilizer. The only discharge from the plant would be grey water.
As far as road impact, the plant would have ingress and egress access from both sides, with room to turn on the plant grounds. Davis also said he was aware the state had funds available to use for turning lanes should that be necessary.
Davis allowed that with extra acreage on the site, there may be plans to build greenhouses and solar panels on the grounds in the future.
All of the commissioners expressed their excitement over the plans, with Ed Sunderland saying, “This is fantastic, I believe this business will fit right into our community.”
Scott Bartholomew asked Davis when the business planned to start operations. Davis informed the commissioners they would start installing the plant as soon as August 15, right after the county planning commission approved their plans.