West Liberty Foods announces plans to construct a new plant, swap current site for public financing


David Hotle, Muscantine Journal (IA)

May 4, 2022


WEST LIBERTY West Liberty Foods plans to build a new plant and offer its current 23-acre facility to the city in exchange for public financing.


Officials told the city council the company has outgrown the facility that has served as its home since 1943.


West Liberty Foods raises about five million turkeys annually. Iowa ranks seventh in turkey production, and West Liberty Foods provides 40% of the turkeys produced. The West Liberty plant employs about 900 workers, a number that would increase to 1,100 with the new plant. An estimated 393 residents of West Liberty work at the plant, which makes about $659 million annually and has about a $55 million payroll.


At Tuesday's meeting, West Liberty City Council gave its approval for West Liberty Foods to seek a $25 million United States Department of Agriculture meat/poultry processing expansion grant to help offset the cost of the projected $100 million facility with $50 million of additional equipment.


West Liberty Foods president Brandon Achen said the company is looking at several 25-acre lots in and near West Liberty that could be used to construct the new facility, which would be about 200,000 square feet. Construction is expected to take 18 months...