Cheri Rath, email@example.com
Dakota Provisions, in Huron S.D., is a state-of-the-art, poultry harvesting and processing business owned and operated by 44 turkey producers. In 2003, individual turkey growers in the community realized that they needed to capture more economic return from their birds. They were looking for a profitable, long-term market that provided stability and security. They were planning and investing for their grandchildren’s livelihood and quality of life.
In 2003, they organized an exploratory committee to look at marketing opportunities for their flocks. Working with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, VAADC organized meetings, compiled research and helped with local infrastructure issues. The research and analysis derived from a feasibility study showed that the proposed business structure and plant could be viable. A business plan was developed using the assumptions and projections of the feasibility study. This led to the current organizational structure, financials and plant designs. The plant was financed in part by direct producer investments. VAADC helped Dakota Provisions through the funding process and forging of a comprehensive financial package. Dakota Provisions’ turkey processing plant, near Huron, also cooks beef and pork products, but is not involved with cattle or hog slaughter. The plant came on-line in early 2006, providing ready-to-eat meats, poultry and protein products for the retail and foodservice markets. The plant now employs 500 people and harvests 16,000 turkeys each day. It hopes to double that amount by the end of 2009.
Ready-to-eat products are available cooked, oven roasted, netted or with collagen casings. For food-service customers, Dakota Provisions provides turkey breasts, boneless pork hams, natural roast beef and chicken-formed deli items, as well as deli slicing logs. Deli trays and platters with turkey, beef, pork, chicken and cheese items are available to retail partners. The plant also provides raw commodity products. “There are very few opportunities for consumers to purchase products raised on the family farm and brought to a world-class facility that prides itself on innovation and food safety,” says Rebecca Steele, director of sales and marketing for Dakota Provisions. “That is what Dakota Provisions provides.”