By Morgan Taylor, Reporter
BEGGS, Oklahoma – On Oct 9, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation officials and affiliates broke ground on the MCN meat processing facility called Looped Square Meat Co. located just south of the Duck Creek Casino on Highway 75.
The land for the facility was donated by the Duck Creek Community.
Members of the National Council along with Principal Chief David Hill and Second Chief Del Beaver attended the event along with representatives from other departments including MCN Tribal Construction and MCN Environmental Services.
The construction for the 25,000 square foot building will be performed by Thompson Construction, INC. They architect is New Fire Native. They are both Native American owned companies.
The MCN Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Trent Kissee has been in the front line of the project from the beginning.
“I want to thank the administration for their support,” Kissee said. “It’s been a huge effort for everybody involved. The Duck Creek Community has been very welcoming and supportive of this project; they were the initial green light when we first started talking about this. I want acknowledge DAS Consultants and my team at the MCN Department of Agriculture and resources for the hard work.”
This nearly ten-million-dollar facility is being built utilizing CARES Act funding and has a short timeline. The facility must be built by the end of Feb. as required by the guidelines of CARES Act funding.
According to MCN Tribal Construction Director Steve Emerson this is a risky project.
“Here at Tribal Construction, we have hired a construction management group at-risk [Thompson Construction, Inc.],” Emerson explains. “They are at-risk because they have a stringent timeline and at the end of this timeline if they are not complete with the project, they will be responsible for paying liquidated damages each day past the project.”
The goal of the Looped Square Meat Co. is to provide food sovereignty for the MCN while providing meat processing services to the community.
The facility will have state of the art equipment to process beef, pork, and even wild game including deer during season.
“This is something that our state needs especially our community,” Emerson said. “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there was a shortage of meat and a lot of processing plants throughout the nation closed down because COVID wreaked havoc with their employees. Everybody experienced the shortage when they went to buy meat and the prices were exceedingly high and shelves were empty. If we had this meat processing plant up and running, we could have helped the state and community.”