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Cattle ranchers hope Aberdeen beef plant will reopen

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — North Dakota feedlot operator Jeff Kvamme (KWAH'-mee) sends his cattle 450 miles south to Dakota City, Neb.

If the long-troubled Northern Beef Packers beef processing plant had achieved its grand plans, that trip would be a 150-mile jaunt down to the South Dakota city of Aberdeen.

As creditors grapple with who will get paid in a bankruptcy case that could be headed to a Chapter 7 liquidation, feedlot operators in the region are hoping someone can buy and reopen the $109 million facility.

South Dakota Cattlemen's Association vice president Todd Wilkinson says ranchers want to make sure the case results in an operating facility in Aberdeen that can process their cattle.

Wilkinson says it's critical if the state is ever to move forward on the South Dakota Certified Beef program.