Missouri beef processor on labor shortage


Missouri beef processor on labor shortage

A new beef processor in Missouri is trying to take on the labor shortage that is affecting processors across the country and contributing to low cattle prices.

Stacy Davies, co-owner of Missouri Prime Beef Packing Plant in southwest Missouri’s Pleasant Hope, says wages have been going higher and higher.

“Across the board raises of $3.00 an hour. So, Tyson, JBS, Cargill, smaller plants just immediately giving $3.00 an hour wage increases, signing bonuses, moving bonuses, retention bonuses.”

Davies says his facility is paying workers an extra dollar an hour for 100% attendance. He says it’s not just workers on the kill floor that are needed, “We need warehouse people. We need folks that have maintenance skills. We need folks with quality assurance skills and knowledge. Of course, we do need people on the floor as well. We even need management level folks.”

Missouri Prime Beef started processing* in March and is up to 150 head a day five days a week but are looking for more cattle in addition to more workers.

Davies was the guest on the University of Missouri virtual town hall. The MU Thompson center has sent cattle there to process.

*They’re processing for the Show Me Beef brand, an animal welfare certified brand for Chipotle and Whole Foods, Grass Valley and Kansas Ranch beef for export. Davies says cattle get market price plus 3-cents and then producers are paid on a grid by grade.