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SD governor presents: Jack Link's Jerky Day

ALPENA -- One of the region's largest employers and its snack will be celebrated Thursday across South Dakota.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has declared Thursday to be "Jack Link's Jerky Day" in South Dakota. The event coincides with third annual National Jerky Day.

The company's largest production plant is in Alpena, where more than 800 people are employed to produce meat snacks. Many of the employees live in Huron, Wessington Springs, Mitchell and Woonsocket. The town of Alpena only has about 250 residents but has benefitted from the business, including when the local fire department received a $70,000 donation two years ago for training and equipment.

The governor's proclamation calls Jack Link's "a proud corporate citizen of South Dakota and commended it for its "economic resolve."

To celebrate, the company announced Friday it would be bringing a meat replica of the Mount Rushmore National Monument on June 12 to New York City. That replica will be 12 feet tall and 20 feet wide, covered in more than 1,600 pounds of Jack Link's beef, pork and turkey jerky and will be showcased in the Big Apple's Columbus Circle.

The jerky of "Meat Rushmore" would stretch five miles in distance, if all of the jerky was peeled off and stretched end to end. It would be as tall as 147 South Dakota State Capitol buildings, if stacked.

"We can't thank South Dakota enough for its continued support of Jack Link's," said company director of marketing Kevin Papecek said in a statement. "We are truly honored to be celebrating Jack Link's Jerky Day and National Jerky Day with the state of South Dakota."

Link Snacks Inc., the company which produces Jack Link's products, finished a 26,000 square-foot plant expansion in 2012 at its Alpena facility. The company bought the Alpena Beef Snacks plant in 1994 and has added on numerous times since.