Harvey plant closing after nearly two yearsJust a month short of its two year anniversary, the owners of North Dakota Branded Beef and Pack in Harvey say the processing plant is closing.
BISMARCK (AP) — Just a month short of its two year anniversary, the owners of North Dakota Branded Beef and Pack in Harvey say the processing plant is closing.
Burleigh County ranchers Alvin and Juanita Braun started the plant to provide beef for their North Dakota Branded Beef store in Bismarck.
Juanita Braun said when they opened their beef store, the only way to get meat that was processed in North Dakota was to do it themselves.
“Now there is other places,” she said. “I think it will be less financially painful to have them process at other places.”
Braun said there’s just too much to do when it comes to operating a farm, running a retail store and owning a meat processing plant.
“When it comes down to it, it’s a personal decision,” she said.
The plant employed 22 people.
“Alvin and I faced that decision up in Harvey, either we are too big to go local there, or we were too small to compete nationally,” she said. “And we just didn’t have the experience or the backing to set up national meat distribution out of the Harvey plant.”
Juanita said her company is now working with a slaughter facility in New Rockford and a new processing facility in Fargo.
“I just didn’t want to close the store in Bismarck, and so when we were able to make arrangements to do the processing in other places, then we can keep it open and keep true to our words: born, raised and processed in North Dakota,” she said.
Braun said she has not found a buyer for the processing plant in Harvey.
The Harvey facility first opened by different owners as a plant to process meat to Islamic standards.
Cattle destined for the facility were not given any feed containing animal byproducts, and were slaughtered facing Mecca by a Muslim invoking the name of Allah.
Its operators at the time said the halal meat plant was dogged by debt and a drop in sales after the 2001 terrorist attacks.