No one directly involved in recruiting a beef processing plant to Christian County has publicly released the company’s name, in part because they have signed non-disclosure agreements with the owners, but local officials have provided details that point to one company — American Foods Group in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Carter Hendricks, executive director of the South Western Kentucky Economic Development, has said the company is family owned with 75 years of experience in the business.
American Foods Group is a subsidiary of Rosen’s Diversified Inc., a company founded in 1946 by brothers Elmer and Ludwig Rosen.
“We have since grown into a holding of vertically integrated business units including American Foods Group, America’s Service Line, Scientific Life and Rosen’s Inc., yet proudly remain a privately held and family-run business today,” the company website states.
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American Foods Group is based in Green Bay, a location that Hendricks emphasized when he spoke Monday night at a community meeting dominated by opponents of the project. Others close to the recruitment have also referenced the company’s location in Green Bay.
Another detail that points to American Foods Group is its ranking among beef processors in the United States.
In a SWKEDC board meeting Monday morning, Christian County agribusiness executive Wayne Hunt said the company is the fifth-largest beef processor in the country.
A profile on the company website states, “We are the 5th largest beef processing company in the U.S. and process and ship over 5 million pounds of beef every day.”
Hunt and SWKEDC board members Lee Conrad, an insurance executive, Elizabeth McCoy, CEO of Planters Bank, and Hopkinsville Mayor Wendell Lynch were among a local delegation that visited an out-of-state meatpacking plant run by the company that is considering a 378-acre site on John Rivers Road about 2 miles from the center of Pembroke.
Information that Hendricks has released indicates the company plans a 500,000-square-foot facility costing $300 million. The company would employ more than 1,300 workers and pay them $18 to $25 an hour. The plant would slaughter and process approximately 2,000 cattle a day.
American Foods Group employs 4,500 workers at plants in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota, Nebraska and Washington.
The Christian County site is reportedly one of two that the company is considering for its expansion.