It will be one of the most state-of-the-art packing plants in North America when it reopens under a new company this spring.

One of the men at the helm of the new operation is not new to the area, Rich Vesta, President and CEO of Harmony Beef, tells Rural Roots Canada despite being from the U.S. he has a long history with cattle producers in the area.

“I bought a lot of cattle here in a previous life. I own a company in Green Bay, Wisconsin, a packing company, and I developed many relationships, they became good friends of mine, feeders in western Canada, so when I retired as the President and COO of JBS North America they called me to come out here and that’s how I ended up here,” said Vesta.

 Vesta says the renovations are coming along great and the new facility is expected to start-up this spring.

“Our first 6 months will be typical western Canada feedlot cattle as we go through the first six months as you probably or may not know for the first 3 months we can’t export everything we process under CFIA rules has to stay in the Canadian border the first three months, but our intention is just to use commodity beef for the first 6 months until we really get our learning curve up to speed with our people so we have a perfect product going out the plant.”

Vesta says they are packer who enjoys high cattle prices.

Some of the things, I won’t go into detail, with some of the ways we process cattle versus our competition.  I can’t extrapolate but the higher the cattle get the bigger difference we can make in that area.

He says they are thrilled to be in Alberta and they have been welcomed overwhelmingly adding they’ll do their best to make sure the community and ag beneficiaries will be proud to be associated with them.