Todd Hanson, the managing partner of Norsman Consulting Group, confirmed on Thursday that Norsman will no longer be working on the project for the proposed Madison Food Park.
Last year, Friesen Foods, LLC acquired more than 3,000 acres of land several miles southeast of Great Falls.
The project would include a processing plant for cattle, pigs, chickens and other related further processing facilities for beef, pork, and poultry. Developers expect the project will bring as many as 3,000 jobs.
Critics of the proposal are concerned about issues such as traffic, odor, and job turnover rates.
Hanson has spent the past several months traveling the state and meeting with ag producers and residents about the Madison Food Park.
In an email to MTN News, Hanson wrote:
“Although we will no longer be part of this particular development project, we remain committed to the concept of developing and constructing a number of species specific, state-of-the-art, commercial food processing facilities across the State of Montana. We will continue to encourage agricultural producers to explore potential opportunities available to them in the state for processing their market animals locally. We would like to thank the producer groups, farming and ranching families and community members we have had an opportunity to visit with over the past year who, like ourselves, support the principle of building and operating these critical value added agri-business enterprises in the state.
It is absolutely necessary that this type of development be undertaken if we are ever going to realize the profitability and security these hard working Montana families deserve. As such, our firm will continue to be active in the pursuit of projects and opportunities where the prospect of these value added facilities being built is supported by the community and economically feasible.”
The project will also incorporate facilities for the processing of milk, supplied by local and regional dairy producers into a variety of cheese products; and a distillery which will source the grain necessary for the production of Montana-branded spirits from cereal crops grown in the region.
Developers expect that when the project is fully operational, it will directly create about 3,075 jobs, along with as many as 85 supporting jobs in the surrounding community.
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- Click here to read the submitted planning documents.