Farmers Union looking for partners to help buy DemKota beef plant in Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, S.D. (By Elisa Sand – A group representing South Dakota farmers is in the early stages of preparing an offer to buy the DemKota Ranch Beef plant in Aberdeen.

The South Dakota Farmers Union is in conversations with its counterparts in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana and is looking to join with beef and dairy cattle groups in the region to make an offer on the plant, the organization’s President Doug Sombke said Friday.

The DemKota plant, which continues to experience a growing number of coronavirus cases among employees, is currently owned by a San Francisco-based investment firm.

“The whole point would be to have things that we control right here in South Dakota,” Sombke said. “It helps farmers and ranchers be owners.”

White Oak Global Advisors bought the beef plant at a 2013 auction as part of the bankruptcy proceedings of its previous owner, Northern Beef Packers. The California company formed a South Dakota-based limited liability corporation to run the plant.

Representatives with White Oak did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this story.

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