Cargill makes $75 million, 90-job investment in Dawson, Minn. plant to make meat alternatives

Cargill is getting more involved in making plant-based meat substitutes with a major investment in a southwestern Minnesota facility.

It’s a move that could be a major windfall for a community in need of one.

In Dawson, the investment from Cargill is the talk of the town.

“It’s going to be nice,” said Dawson Mayor Randy Tensen. “It’s going to be something that’s stable and it’s got good back, and we were hoping for this for a long time. So, we’re just happy they chose here.”

On the east edge of Dawson, a former dairy plant shut down seven years ago. Now, with a $75 million investment from Cargill, it will reopen next year with 90 new jobs.

“When I hear they’re going to be hiring, 90 job opportunities, that’s huge,” said one resident. “I think it’ll help the community a lot.”

The company coming in is called “Puris” based in Minneapolis. It extracts protein from peas, which is a key component in vegetable-based beef and chicken substitutes, which has grown rapidly.

A similar Puris plant operates in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin and it has quadrupled production in four years. The demand, Puris says, is surging.

“When that plant closed and that many jobs are lost, you can always tell,” a resident said.

In a town where job losses are so easily felt, job gains in an agri-business that only appears to be growing, comes as very good news.

“It’s a big plant, so you have to find the right person and we’re just happy they chose us,” Tensen said.