A comprehensive report is being released on the financial impact of the major new pork processing plant that will be built in Eagle Grove. Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss presented the findings in the Hamilton County town of Stanhope Wednesday night. It tallies the pros and cons of the planned $246 million Prestage Farms plant.
Overall, Goss says there will be a net gain from the plant going online, saying state and local tax collections will be greater than the costs. The report says the plant will increase the price of hogs by three-and-a-half percent. The estimated average added revenue is expected to be $724 per farm in the ten-county north-central Iowa area. It’s also estimated the plant will support 193 packer and non-packer farms. Goss says employment is another key factor.
Goss says the report also covered the impact on school districts in the area, at a time when many schools are closing or consolidating.
The ten counties considered in the report are: Calhoun, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Kossuth, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Webster and Wright. Construction is set to begin this spring and may take 18 to 21 months. Goss made another presentation Thursday afternoon at 4:30 at Robert Blue Middle School in Eagle Grove, and has presentations next week in Fort Dodge and Humboldt. The complete report will be posted next week on the Mid Iowa Growth Partnership website.