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Aberdeen, S.D., beef plant to open in early November

ABERDEEN, S.D. -- A beef kill plant in Aberdeen, S.D., plans to reopen in early November and will market its products under a new name --- DemKota Ranch Beef.

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Mikkel Pates, Agweek
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ABERDEEN, S.D. - A beef kill plant in Aberdeen, S.D., plans to reopen in early November and will market its products under a new name -- DemKota Ranch Beef.

Doug Cooper, CEO of New Angus LLC, and Keith DeHaan, the company's president, confirmed to Agweek they are actively buying cattle in a 250-mile radius - South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and northwest Nebraska.

The company, registered in Delaware in December 2013, up to this point said it would restart the retrofitted 420,000-square-foot plant before the end of the year. The plant, which is mid-sized by national standards, is in the process of hiring about 125 people and started testing equipment this week.

Cooper says the company will start slaughter at a rate to make sure they can "do it well, and repeated." He says the plant will start at 25 head per week, and advance to 500 within several weeks. They expect to be at more than 750 per day by the second quarter of 2016. The capacity of the plant is 1,500 head per day.

When fully operational, Cooper and DeHaan expect about 20 percent of the cattle will be older than 30 months, but 80 percent will be fed cattle, purchased on quality grade and cutability. The region's cattle are the "finest in the world,"  he says, and the plant expects to use those at the "top of the line for export potential."

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The company has hired Jeff Russo as vice president of procurement. He has worked for Laura's Lean Beef Co. of Lexington, Ky., and Meyer Natural Angus of Montana. Rhonda Wulf, the company's cattle coordinator, was raised in a purebred beef operation near Morris, Minn., and holds a bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University and a master's from Texas A&M University Kingsville.

Related Topics: SOUTH DAKOTACATTLELIVESTOCK
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