Prestage Foods of Iowa, located just six miles south of Eagle Grove, brings new families, jobs, businesses, and housing to the Northwest Iowa region.
Unfortunately, rural counties are hurting all across the United States. Over the last decade, about 36% of U.S. metro counties seized 99% of the jobs and population. In Iowa, half of the state’s 99 counties have fewer jobs and population than a decade ago.
Prestage’s economic impact is estimated at $574 million for nine neighboring counties. For example, the Eagle Grove School District expanded its elementary due to growing class numbers, as well as stimulating new housing in Eagle Grove, Fort Dodge, and Webster City. Fort Dodge is seeing their largest housing boom in 30 years. New businesses in Eagle Grove are starting up such as craft and pet stores, a fitness center, and restaurants. The economic growth in Northwest Iowa is a complete turnaround from previous years.
Iowa is the nation’s biggest pork producer, raising about 50 million hogs annually. Prestage Foods of Iowa provides 60% of the hogs from its existing Iowa facilities and purchases the rest from independent producers. It is also expected to drive local hog prices 3.5% higher which will help area hog farmers.
Prestage’s plant in Iowa was first proposed in 2016. Locals worried about odor and reduced water quality if more hog confinements would be built in the area. However, the company invested in technology intended to reduce the plant’s impact on the environment and workers. They implemented biofilters that help scrub odor from the air and robots take care of the most physically demanding jobs such as splitting carcasses. These two improvements have drastically eliminated the odor issues and the labor-intensive jobs that come with the pork processing territory.
Prestage is also providing guaranteed payments to Eagle Grove for its new $32 million wastewater treatment plant. These payments will allow the city to meet new state requirements for cutting the pollution released into the Boone River.
Not only has Prestage Foods helped create a new community, but it is making an impact on the environment as well as creating a better quality of life for all.
See more information regarding economic and environmental impact in the article.