News Staff Report
Poarch Band of Creek Indians plans to build a state-of-the-art, USDA-inspected meat processing facility just outside Atmore.
According to a tribal press release issued last week, the plant will have the capacity to process up to 125 cattle per week.
PCI, the state’s only federally recognized Indian tribe, has owned and operated Perdido River Farms, one of the largest cattle operations in Alabama, since 1982 and has plans to expand production. A Poarch Creek spokesman said PCI plans to “efficiently harvest and process cattle and hogs for both livestock-producing customers and a retail and wholesale business.”
Tribal Chairwoman and CEO Stephanie A. Bryan said the new facility will be of benefit to all beef and pork producers in the area, not just to PCI.
“I am excited about the opportunities this project creates for our region’s farmers and the agriculture industry,” Bryan said. “Like so many other local meat producers, we have had no other option other than to send the cattle we raised right here at Perdido River Farms out of state for processing.
“This new facility will provide us and other farmers the opportunity to process locally-raised beef and pork right here in Atmore. Not only will that make bringing a wonderful product to market easier and more cost-effective, but will also give Alabama producers an opportunity to be part of the ‘farm to table’ movement that is so important to both consumers and local agriculture.”
PCI officials said current processing facilities throughout the Southeastern U.S. have limited capacity for new business. The new facility “will help meet that demand and create a larger capacity for meat processing in the future,” they said.
According to the tribal press release, plans are for the project to be completed by the end of 2023. No mention was made of how many jobs the processing plant is expected to create.