The Associated Press reports that An Upper Midwest ranchers co-op that failed at several attempts to start a beef processing plant is trying again, this time focusing on the “natural” market.
Cattle in the venture would have no added hormones and would be processed for a premium market, said Dwight Bassingthwaite of Sarles, president of the Dakota Beef Cooperative board.
A $160,000 feasibility study is being funded by the Griggs-Steele Empowerment Zone, the Farmers Union Marketing and Processing Foundation and the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives.
Dakota Beef grew out of the Northern Plains Premium Beef Cooperative, which failed twice in the 1990s to get ranchers to invest in a proposed plant in Belle Fourche, S.D. Dakota Beef then failed in its own attempt to start a plant, and in 2002, its attempt to partner with a Nebraska meatpacking company fell through.
The co-op has about 100 members in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming.