HARVEY, N.D. (AP) -- Organizers of a plant that will process meat to Muslim standards have met their fund-raising goal and started plans to break ground later this month.
Backers of the Dakota Halal Processing Plant say they have raised $870,000, the majority of it from area ranchers who will supply cattle. Adnan Aldayel of New Rockford, president of the plant, and two undisclosed investors are providing the rest.
The city of Harvey will build the $1.5 million plant and lease it to the company. Production is expected to start in December, with 19 workers at the plant initially. It will slaughter 5,000 cattle a year and have a capacity for 10,000.
The plant will process meat that meets Muslim dietary requirements. Cattle, sheep, goat, bison, deer and elk products will be marketed in large cities such as Chicago that have large Muslim populations.
''It takes North Dakota products, adds value to them, ships them out and brings capital back to the state,'' said John Schneider, Harvey's economic development director.
Central Dakota Beef, a subsidiary of the 50-member Central Dakota Cattle Association, is buying 60 percent of the shares in Dakota Halal.
To meet Muslim standards, animals that are butchered must be on a strict diet that includes no hormones, and must be slaughtered by a Muslim who slits the animals' jugular veins while saying, ''Allah.''
The Harvey plant will produce everything from carcasses and boxed meat parts to processed items such as sausage and smoked jerky.
''Also, we will do custom processing for people who butcher their own cattle or bison and market under their own name,'' Aldayel said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.