Des Moines, Iowa — Retail giant Walmart bought a minority share in a Nebraska beef packing plant this past week, in what an Iowa cattleman says is a “seismic shift” in the beef processing industry.
Chad Tentinger, the principal developer of Cattlemen’s Heritage Beef Company, says the move is historic — and it was inevitable.
Tentinger says Walmart’s move this week is what he sees for the future, which he says represents a “massive, fundamental change” to the beef industry.
Tentinger sees Walmart’s investment in the North Platte property as the first step by retail into beef production, which he predicts will be good for the consumer and good for the cattle producer.
It may only be a matter of time, he says, before Iowa-based grocery chains like Hy-Vee or Fareway make a similar move to Walmart by investing in localized meat processing.
Tentinger is the founder and owner of TenCorp, a cattle industry construction firm with offices in Des Moines and Marcus. Their planned beef plant in Mills County is on target to begin construction late this fall, Tentinger says, with the opening scheduled for late 2024. It will employ up to 750 workers and at capacity, will be able to process up to 15 hundred head of cattle per day.