Beef plant hoping for road help

By Shannon Marvel
smarvel@aberdeennews.com

The number of trucks entering through the entrance at the beef plant is beginning to take a toll on traffic flow, prompting New Angus to ask the county whether a dirt road could be built up to provide truck access at another entrance to the facility.

Dan DeHaan, plant engineer for New Angus, told Brown County commissioners Tuesday that production is expected to ramp up from 50 to 100 trucks per day at the beef plant by September.

New Angus has been in production for 18 months and expects to double production by the fourth quarter in September, DeHaan said.

In those 18 months, DeHaan said the beef plant has employed more than 600 employees with a total payroll of $2 million, and has processed over 140,000 head of cattle.

The beef plant has the capacity to process about 1,530 head of cattle per day, but is only processing about half that number currently, DeHaan said.

The company’s product is marketed as DemKota Ranch Beef. Some beef products are exported to several foreign countries, he added.

Those trucks carry loads of live cattle, frozen product, cleaning supplies, rendering materials and other various items needed for daily operations, DeHaan said.

“If we double capacity, it’ll become even more problematic,” DeHaan told commissioners. “And we’d like to separate basically dirty and clean trucks.”

Dirty trucks would be those carrying hides and waste, he said.

DeHaan said separating clean and dirty trucks between two entrances would create more biosecurity within the beef plant. Biosecurity is a set of precautions and procedures taken to minimize the risk of introducing an infectious disease into an animal population.

The mile of road in front of the beef plant entrances would need to become a concrete or asphalt road, otherwise truck traffic would tear up the current dirt road.

The beef plant is near the intersection of county roads 10 and 14W south of Aberdeen.

Brown County Highway Superintendent Dirk Rogers said the beef plant road project would cost about $640,000.

Rogers said it would make more sense to pave the mile of County Road 14W between County Road 10 and U.S. Highway 281. He said the county has committed to the project plans, which have already been included in grant applications.

The Brown County Highway department budget would not be able to support both projects this year, he added.

DeHaan said trucks hauling cattle to and from the beef plant usually use Melgaard Road or County Road 10 to U.S. Highway 12.

No action was taken as a result of the discussion.