Copperstone Foods is beefing up the local Eustis economy with the help of Dawson PPD. Copperstone Foods, led by President Cal Siegfried, will soon operate its Eustis facility as a Halal-certified beef bacon plant. The facility plans to produce up to 30,000 pounds of beef bacon daily and hire about 18 full-time employees.
A vision takes shape
Cal Siegfried, a community-minded entrepreneur, was determined to find a purpose for the vacant Eustis facility owned by Copperstone Foods. After considering various options, the idea of producing Halal-certified beef bacon emerged. The inspiration for this venture stemmed from Copperstone Foods’ part ownership of Montana Saddle Peak Steak’n Company, a beef bacon plant. The opportunity was a good fit for the growing market of Halal ethnic food products, which boasts an annual growth rate of 11 percent.
Pictured left: Cal Siegfried, President of Copperstone Foods.
How it’s made
The beef bacon starts as frozen beef short plates. Beef plates are considered a undervalued cut and are typically ground into hamburger. In this case, the beef plate will be brined, smoked, sliced and packaged locally in Eustis before shipping to Crescent Foods in Chicago, a leader in Halal products for over 25 years.
Siegfried says that the Copperstone Foods beef bacon will be a lower sodium product. “It fries up crispy without crumbling and boasts a substantial, smoked flavor,” he described.
A high-tech approach
The Copperstone Foods facility in Eustis will use state-of-the-art equipment and advanced robotics to streamline the beef bacon production process. With an anticipated daily production of about 30,000 pounds of beef bacon, the plant will also host a USDA inspection site to meet stringent market standards.
Robotics will play a pivotal role in smoking and slicing the beef plates. This innovative approach will complement human labor as the facility plans to employ up to 18 individuals.
In addition to this, the facility is currently under expansion to add another 2,500 square feet for refrigeration to ensure optimal product temperature.
Empowering Local Growth
The Copperstone Foods plant is expected to open in the summer of 2024. With the support of Dawson PPD’s Economic Development initiatives, this exciting venture is poised for success.
Dawson PPD has a rich history of supporting economic development in rural areas. Dave Behle, Economic Development and Key Accounts Executive, was instrumental in helping Copperstone Foods turn their vision into reality.
Pictured right : Dave Behle, Dawson Public Power District, Key Accounts & Economic Development.
“Our goal is to foster vibrant rural communities, businesses and their residents,” Behle said. “Public power was originally developed to support rural areas by providing electricity. Through a variety of programs, we continue to support the growth of these communities and it helps Dawson PPD with energy sales.”
Behle’s role in the Copperstone Foods project involved helping Cal Siegfried identify potential challenges and funding sources.
Dawson PPD partnered with the Nebraska Enterprise Fund and successfully secured a $15 million grant from the USDA Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program. The first $5 million loan from this funding, along with owner equity and investments, will finance the necessary building expansion and equipment purchases for Copperstone Foods.
The collaboration between Copperstone Foods and Dawson PPD demonstrates the power of local businesses and public entities working together for a brighter future for all.
Those interested in applying for a position at the Copperstone Foods facility may contact Cal Siegfried at
Dawson Public Power District [dawsonpower.com] is a Nebraska rural electric utility system that serves south central Nebraska along the Platte River Valley. Organized in 1937, Dawson PPD provides service to more than 23,000 electric meters and maintains over 5,800 miles of power lines. The district’s 5,800 square miles territory includes all of the rural areas in Dawson and Buffalo Counties, approximately two-thirds of Gosper County, a third of Lincoln County and parts of Custer, Sherman and Frontier Counties. Dawson PPD also serves several villages including Hershey, Maxwell, Brady, Farnam, Eustis, Elwood, Eddyville, Smithfield, Overton, Sumner, Miller, Riverdale, Amherst, Odessa and Pleasanton. To learn more, visit www.DawsonPower.com [dawsonpower.com].
Dawson Public Power District is a wholesale customer of NPPD.
Source: Chelsea Gengenbach, Communications Specialist, Dawson Public Power