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Meat Packing Proposal Discussed by Granada Trustees

Trustees Survey Site Map for Proposed Packing Plant

 

 

Granada Trustees voted to approve a letter of intent to supply water and electricity to businessman Curtis Temple who is proposing a small-scale slaughter, harvest and processing facility in Granada in the vicinity of Camp Amache. Temple explained the operation would be filling a need for the area with the construction of a 15,000 square foot building. “Right now, the only USDA inspected meat packing operation is in Fowler. This would be the first time in about 50 years this would be offered to this region,” he explained. He was accompanied by Clint States who is in charge of the physical construction of the building and project manager, Tanya McSwan.

Temple had outlined his project on Monday for the Lamar City Council, but his focus at that meeting was on the ramifications of using the Lamar landfill to receive the offal from the facility. The Lamar Council was favorable to the idea, but City Administrator, Steve Kil, who attended the Granada meeting with Lamar Mayor, Kirk Crespin, told Temple Lamar’s letter of intent would be based on the Granada Trustee’s decision. Following that favorable decision, Kil indicated Lamar would begin the draft of its letter. Granada’s letter of intent covered annexing property into the city’s district as well access to the electrical grid. Temple will also need to get a letter of approval from the Granada Sanitation District.

The packing plant’s location was discussed as Temple, Trustees and interested landowners reviewed a map where the site could be built including an access road to allow livestock-bearing trucks a route into the facility with limited impact to the area. He said annexing the land into the city’s district would help his project, and the property had to be in a contiguous arrangement with city property for that to occur. “We have a verbal agreement at this time for some property which is located south of Granada and we’re working on the contract.” He said he’s looking at an 80-acre site, but not all of it would be used. “We’re going to leave some land open as a buffer zone,” he explained.

Temple explained that the project would bring jobs to the Granada area. “With the exception of the refrigeration units, our facility would be built by local contractors and we figure from 20 to 25 persons would be employed by the first year with up to 30 by our fifth year when we meet our planned expansion,” he said. His $4 million investment would process an estimated $6 million in livestock that they would purchase a year. He estimated the salaries and benefits to be around $1 million by the first year and up to $1.5 million by the fifth year.

“We plan to develop a value-added on-site market for the beef and other packaged meats such as smoked products, pork products, beef jerky, specialty sausages and dry and wet-aged middle meats. Cattle owners would have the opportunity to brand their own cattle or pork for marketing and sales to the public. There’s growing interest about the origins of our food supplies in the state and the local marketing fits right into those consumer concerns. We also plan to produce items such as sausage or jerky at a later date,” he explained. Temple added that wholesale opportunities in the Granada and Lamar as well as a market in the Front Range area could also be opened to consumers and the restaurant trade on a retail and wholesale level. As he explained at the Lamar meeting, the initial operation would start with 30 head of cattle in the first year and by year five, 150 head would be processed a week. “We intend to run a five-day work-week, but could go to a sixth day if there is a need.”

Temple said his water use figures were based on 125% capacity, saying that Granada’s water quality would be optimum for the operation. “We expect to use 48,000 gallons per week or about eight-acre feet per year and of that 80 to 90% would be for clean-up,” he told the Trustees. “That process would be spread out over the five days we’re in operation for slaughter. Used, grey water, would be skimmed of fats, oils and solids and any physical substance such as hair would be screened and removed before being sent to Granada’s two evaporative lagoons which are usually dry. He estimated the water going into the sewer system would go through a stabilizing structure over the five days of slaughter and would be about 10 gallons a minute going into the Granada Sanitation District, or about three garden hoses running.

“I think the added water outflow would actually aid the town’s infrastructure. The refuse would be stored in a refrigerated facility before transport to a landfill and the cattle would be held in a covered, holding facility featuring a heated slab so manure doesn’t freeze and thaw making more work for disposal in the winter. “We don’t intend to see even one fly buzzing around our operation which will fall under USDA inspections.”

He added future plans call for an off-site composting operation that could be established on his or his partner’s property. It would provide a place for disposal and be a valued-added product as well. “It could take in Granada’s yard waste, but perhaps Lamar’s as well.” He said it would be expensive to begin because we’re considered a commercial-industrial business so we don’t fall under agricultural guidelines. He said there would be different standards for the compost facility under health and environment.

Temple, who has a degree in animal science with emphasis on meat plants and teaches agriculture courses at Lamar Community College, said he has past professional experience in livestock packing and offal management. He felt another benefit would fall into jobs creation. “We’ve had some initial discussions and I think we could begin a job training center, maybe a certificate program to start a meat-cutting program or a certified master butcher’s program. It seems like a lot of these Whole Foods are always looking for employees with meat cutting experience and this facility would help with that. I feel like the time is right for this type of project.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of GranadaCity of LamarCollegeConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedHealthHot TopicsThe Journal AlertUtilitiesWater

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