Lot 279 plans for expansion following federal funding
NORFOLK, NEB. -- Following its announcement of a federal grant Wednesday, Lot 279 is talking about how its news funds will be used.
Lot 279 was one of two Nebraska producers who received federal grants as part of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP). Lot 279 is receiving $688,011 in federal funding as part of the program. The Northeast Nebraska-based company said in a press release Wednesday, it intends to build a federal inspection portion cutting and further processing facility. The facility would cater to at least three family-owned cattle producers. Speaking on Thursday was co-owner Blake Albers, who owns Lot 279 with his wife. Albers says providing a feature like this would help these family-owned brands scale up and overcome hurdles Lot 279 faced when it first began as a butcher shop.
"The further we go down this road of family-branded beef, we decided it was necessary to build a further processing cut and wrap facility that would really service family brands," Albers said. "We're obviously super grateful (for the grant) but it's a four-to-one match so we still got quite a bit of risk in it, but we're really excited."
Albers says the facility won't be used for harvest, only for cutting and wrapping. In addition, most of the funds from the grant will be used to purchase the equipment for cutting and wrapping. Albers predicts the facility will be able to employ up to 20 people over the course of 4 years, although it will take time.