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Saline River Farms plans to turn the Four Star Arena into a meat processing facility

Saline River Farms
Benjy Jeffords
/
WSIU
Press conference for Saline River Farms

A new state of the art meat processing facility is coming to Williamson County.

The former Four-Star Arena near Creal Springs is going to see a new life as a processing center for beef and pork.

Saline River Farms will renovate the 83,000 square foot facility with the latest technology for the industry.

In Marion Wednesday the USDA announced Saline River Farms was awarded a grant for more than six million, eight hundred thousand dollars.

Co-owner Jeff Diederich says they came up with this idea after seeing supply chain issues during the pandemic.

“Looking to fill the void of a problem here, not only in southern Illinois, but as a nation through our food supply chain, we have come up with a plan that solves that problem. And on a practical note, will convert a blighted piece of property here in Williamson County, make it a very prosperous location to employ over 400 people.”

They're planning to break ground in the Spring followed by 15 to 18 months of construction.