Agricultural giant Cargill this week announced a $75 million investment that will lead to the creation of an estimated 90 jobs in Dawson. The investment will allow Puris, a plant-based food manufacturer, to double their production of pea proteins used in artificial meat. Puris owns the former dairy plant on the east edge of Dawson, which will reopen next year as a pea processing facility. 

“This is more than a pea protein facility. This is the future of food. The Dawson facility will not only support Puris farmers in the U.S. with a crop that regenerates their land and that is sustainable because it provides soil health advantages but will also support the growing demand for great tasting plant-based products in the marketplace. This investment will grant Puris the ability to support more food companies, more farmers and more consumers faster,” said Tyler Lorenzen, PURIS President.

“As consumer demand increases for plant-based proteins, we want to make sure that Cargill, with our partner PURIS, can deliver on that demand with great tasting, sustainable and label-friendly pea protein for customers in North America and across the world,” said Laurie Koenig, Cargill texturizers and specialty lead. “This investment also provides significant support to the local economy with approximately 90 new jobs and a new revenue stream for Midwest farmers.”

Puris will now own and operate three facilities solely focused on pea protein production: Turtle Lake, Wis.; Oskaloosa, Iowa; and Dawson. With engineering complete on the Dawson facility, construction to retrofit it for pea production will start immediately, with an anticipated operational start date of late 2020.