A veteran Missouri lawmaker who serves on the House Agriculture Policy Committee says the newest modern beef processing plant built in the United States now has about 175 employees in western Missouri’s Lone Jack.

The Republic Foods beef facility is located in far western Missouri’s Lone Jack, a town of about 1,000 residents (June 2020 photo courtesy of Rep. Warren Love)

Lone Jack is a small town of about 1,000, and is southeast of Lee’s Summit. It’s located in Jackson County.

State Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, tells Missourinet that Republic Foods started operating the plant in March. He says it is processing about 250 head of beef cows per day. Missourinet contacted the company, which confirms the numbers provided by Love.

“These are what you call hamburger cows,” Love says. “They come in, they’re completely deboned, the meat is, then it’s processed into hamburger. They call it lean-trim.”

Love says about 75 percent of the cows are purchased in Missouri.

Love and other state lawmakers toured the plant in June, and were joined by representatives of the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA). Love says the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and Missouri Farm Bureau also participated in the tour.

“I think there were eight legislators, seven of them from the House, all serve on the Ag (House Agriculture Policy) Committee,” says Love. “And then we had one senator, Senator Justin Brown from Rolla.”

Senator Brown co-chairs the Joint Committee on Agriculture.

Love, who’s finishing his eighth and final year in the House because of term limits, is a member of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. He says it’s possible that the Lone Jack plant could receive some of the $20 million in assistance appropriated by the Legislature this year for meat processors dealing with COVID-19.

The $20 million is for plants with less than 200 employees. It’s designed for support, workforce assistance, equipment and capital improvements.

Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and State Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, which was recorded in June 2020:

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