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The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is kicking off construction on a “much-needed” meat processing facility in Atmore, Ala., according to the Tribe. 

The tribe is investing $15 million in the facility that is expected to open in the spring of 2024. It’s part of the Poarch Band’s long-term goal to create a model for sustainable food production that will serve tribal members as well as the surrounding community and citizens across the state. 

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The new facility, which will employ up to 20, will allow the tribe to process cattle and hogs for livestock producers in the region, including the tribe’s own Perdido River Farms, which is one of the largest cattle farms in Alabama. 

The new operation will have capacity to process up to 125 cattle per week. That will help address food supply-chain issues and the need for additional meat, slaughter and processing facilities in the state, according to Alabama Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Rick Pate. 

The Poarch Band knows first hand how much the added processing capacity is needed in the region, according to Stephanie A. Bryan, chairwoman and CEO of Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

“Like so many other local meat producers, we have had to send the cattle that we raised at Perdido River Farms out of state for processing,” Bryan said. “During the pandemic, we came to see just how unsustainable that model is, and we made a commitment to provide those critical resources close to home.”

Once the new facility comes online early next year, the Poarch Band plans to expand production at Perdido River Farms, which it has owned since 1992. Perdido River Farms manages more than 700 head of cows and 35 bulls, as well as 2,900 acres of tribal agricultural properties.