Meet The Billion-Dollar Meat “Rendering” Facility: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence Systems and “Air Knives”
Remember how we’ve been covering all the meat processing facilities that have suddenly been burned down or been the subject of some other horrible catastrophe?
Perhaps now we know why.
A massive meat rendering facility due to begin construction in Rapid City, South Dakota next year has raised eyebrows amongst local residents and officials.
The $1.1 billion facility, known as the “Western Legacy Development Corporation,” wants to bring large-scale production of an estimated 8,000 cattle per day.
“Many question the availability of such large numbers of cattle and/or bison in the region, the availability of sufficient labor and housing for the incoming workforce,” Ag Web explained.
“The principals that are involved still have a lot of homework to do,” City Councilman Ritchie Nordstrom told South Dakota Public Radio. “Where do we get those employees? If the number that is being recited is close to being accurate, we don’t know where’re they’re going to come from and where we’re going to house them.”
“We have an affordable housing shortage in Rapid City,” said City Councilman Pat Jones.
“The population continues to grow faster than the market can replace housing.”
Ag Web reported:
If realized, the plant would become the largest in North America and one of the largest beef plants in the world.
Western Legacy’s proposal would create 2,400 jobs and Kingsbury said the plant would utilize the latest technology available.
In an interview with SDPB’s Lori Walsh on “In the Moment,” Kingsbury said her company is “holding this project privately and funding it in-house.”
City councilman Nordstrom questioned if the industrial park could fit the 1-million-square-foot facility into the park or build the infrastructure needed for the plant without extra financing from the city.
“I would like to see a meat processing plant, but right now the conditions for the current proposed location don’t fit the parameters,” Nordstrom said.
Transportation, water use and odor are also concerns. Jones has heard from constituents who worry about heavy rail and truck traffic near their neighborhoods. He’s also worried about the potential for unpleasant smells like those caused by the Federal Beef plant, which closed after a 2002 fire at its central Rapid City location.
But there’s also some “creepy” aspects of this proposed meat-processing facility.
The advanced technology for the proposed beef plant includes robotics, artificial intelligence systems, and railroad offloading integration.
The Western Legacy Development Corporation facility will process cattle and bison completely with the use of robotics and artificial intelligence making processing easier, safer and more efficient and producing consistent cuts of meat. They will use laser technology and air knives which use a high velocity air stream to dehide animals. A technology currently only used in Europe, Asia and Australia due to the high cost of retro fitting current facilities.
This quote also raises eyebrows:
“We’ve been in business since 1929, so we’re very familiar with the bi-products that will be prepared out of this facility. We’re looking at a meat and bone meal that hopefully we can utilize not only domestically but also export. We’re also looking at making tallow and yellow grease products that not only can go into the feed ingredient business but also into the industrial and maybe the biodiesel industries,” said Bednarek.
Does that mean they’re making biodiesels with carcasses?
On the positive side, this could provide new competition for Cargill, Tyson and the other monopolistic food giants that are steeped in a lot of evil practices. Perhaps a more independent, privately-owned beef production facility would provide food supply chain redundancy and increased efficiencies that would ultimately lead to lower food prices for Americans.
However, the facility’s touted use of robotics, artificial intelligence-driven processing systems, biofuel production, and railroad offloading integration heightens curiosity.
The state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to break ground at the beginning of 2023, with a targeted completion date of 2026.
h/t: We Love Trump