Iowa Premium Beef project lands $4M in tax credits

DES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority board approved $4 million in state tax credits for the $48.6 million Iowa Premium Beef project in Tama during a meeting Friday.

The angus beef processing facility from the start-up company is slated to open its first phase in late fall, with other phases coming on line as the market dictates, said Dean Hanish, chief financial officer of Iowa Premium Beef.

The facility is expected to open with 600 jobs and a kill count of 1,100 a day, Hanish said.

Of the 600 jobs, 120 positions are “incented jobs” and are required to pay at least $15.42 an hour, per the agreement on the tax credits.

The work includes $29.7 million of building construction, $9 million of work remodeling the former Tama Pack facility and $9 million of manufacturing machinery and equipment.

“It’s important to this town,” said John Lisle of the IEDA board.

Hanish said there is still “a bunch” of work to get done prior to the opening.

“Basically the plant itself is very stable,” Hanish said. “We’re going to put a new face on it and a new inside. There’s going to be this major restructure of the building over the next seven months.”

Hanish said the location is ideal for their business as they will get their supply of Black Angus cattle from a 150-mile radius of the Tama facility.

“This is angus country and we will be strictly angus cattle,” Hanish said. “There’s a premium for angus.”

He said Iowa Premium Beef will hold town hall meetings, take out advertisements and use other methods to try to land employees. He said labor studies show there are people needing work in the area.

“There’s a lot of unemployment in the area; it’s a pretty depressed area,” Hanish said.

Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, was at the meeting Friday and is a non-voting member of the IEDA board.

“It’s great to see it go forward,” Sodders said. “I think they are full steam ahead on getting this up and running. These are jobs desperately needed.”

Hanish was appreciative of the state tax credits as they move forward with the project.

“It’s real money,” he said. “This really helps the cash flow.”