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Jerky company to build plant in Eastern Idaho

An Idaho Falls company that produces organic jerky has broken ground on a new plant in nearby Shelley, Idaho, and plans to increase its production.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — An Eastern Idaho company that makes jerky products with organic meat has broken ground on a 200,000-square-foot processing plant in Shelley that will employ 200 workers.

Bryce Esplin, CEO of Golden Valley Natural, said his company now operates two plants in Idaho Falls and may close one facility that it rents once the new plant opens in the second quarter of 2015. He said the decision to close an Idaho Falls plant hasn’t been finalized.

Esplin said production will increase once the new facility opens, and his company will require more organic poultry, beef and buffalo meat. He declined to share specific numbers.

Esplin said his poultry is sourced from around the country, and his beef comes from around the world. His buffalo, however, is mostly regionally sourced from suppliers vertically integrated with Golden Valley. The company gets buffalo meat from Idaho herds in Salmon, Roberts and Swan Valley and a fourth herd in South Dakota.

“There’s a lot more emphasis on healthy snacking as opposed to grabbing a candy bar and a pop,” Esplin said.

Esplin said Golden Valley has already begun hiring new workers, adding 84 employees since mid-March at its current plants for a smooth transition to the new facility.

He said the company’s total workforce will be between 300 and 400 once the new plant opens.

Esplin said the plant broke ground in April and will be a state-of-the-art facility emphasizing production efficiencies and a product-flow design based on his company’s experience during 45 years in business.

—John O’Connell



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