Smart Growth that Adds Jobs and Harnesses Technology
With its abundance of natural resources, market accessibility, and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, South Louisiana is a booming region for agribusiness. The recent expansion of Coastal Plains Meat Company in South Louisiana will create jobs and improve meat processing and distribution capabilities in the South. It also provides yet another reason for business leaders to consider the region’s brimming potential as an asset for their own agriculture enterprise.
One of the defining challenges in agricultural industries is confronting the cultural shift that accompanies improvements in technology. Rather than shy away from these developments, Coastal Plains Meat Company wants to embrace tradition as well as technology in its business operations.
The company plans to commit 3.5 million in capital investment into its new facility in St. Landry Parish. They aim to develop and optimize the production of what is already the state’s biggest meat processing operation through modernization. Along with this substantial investment in the facility, the company plans to retain current staff members and take on around a dozen new employees.
Ambitious Goals for a Productive Future
Coastal Plains’ technology updates will improve quality and safety while also increasing the facility’s overall capacity. The new equipment is expected to increase the facility’s annual meat production capabilities from around 2 million pounds to over 6 million pounds. The expansion has been anticipated since its announcement in 2021 and is expected to be finished by September 2022.
The company has also expressed its commitment to sourcing quality livestock from local producers, which will reinforce the region’s local economy and robust agricultural industry. Improvements in local meat processing capabilities should also ease recent logistical concerns for suppliers and create room for further growth.
Forging Partnerships: Academics, Veterans, and Industry
In addition to contributing to South Louisiana’s Agribusiness economy, Coastal Plains Meat Company also seeks to support local veterans and higher education through local partnerships. As a veteran himself, Coastal Plains Co-owner and Chief Operating Officer Chip Perrin says the company prides itself on hiring veterans and supports transitioning military members into Louisiana’s livestock industry.
Coastal Plains has also partnered with Louisiana State University Eunice to integrate industry with higher education. The academic partnership revolves around sharing knowledge and industry experience. Co-owner David Billings plans to present students with some of his personal insights on various industry issues and topics, including practical issues regarding logistics and supply chain management. Coastal Plains also plans to host internships and apprenticeships that will be available to LSUE students.
In anticipation of this new program, LSUE is launching a new Associate of Science in Agriculture degree with the long-term goal of incorporating more agriculture and STEM investments on campus. A new STEAM innovation center is in development which will provide opportunities in science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics to the area.