Riverbend Meats Processing Plant

Idaho Falls, Idaho 

Best Manufacturing

Submitted By: Big-D Construction

Region: ENR Mountain States

Owner: Riverbend Management

Lead Design Firm: Babcock Design Group

General Contractor: Big-D Construction

Processing Designer: E.A. Bonelli & Associates Inc.

Civil Engineer: Connect Engineering

Structural Engineer: Dunn Associates Inc.

Mechanical/Electrical Engineer: Angus-Young

Refrigeration Consultant: Innovative Refrigeration Systems

Mechanical Contractor: RM Mechanical

Electrical Contractor: Interstates Construction Services


This ground-up facility will process Angus beef from harvest to finished packaged product. The state-of-the-art design of the plant and its 600-acre site enables the cows to live and graze on the land, reducing emissions from truck traffic and contributing to the facility’s focus on a humane, sustainable approach to beef processing. Excavation on top of a more than 4,000-year-old basaltic lava field required a well-planned effort as crews drilled 5,876 holes and used around 44,000 lb of explosives to remove basalt material. To minimize the facility’s environmental impact, a covered 5.1-million-gallon anaerobic lagoon captures and pretreats animal waste, a small wastewater treatment building finishes the process and an onsite biogas and reuse building transforms processed waste into solid fuel to heat the building. This biogas renewable energy source fuels about 10% of the plant’s total steam demand. The treated effluent is delivered to a 20-million-gallon storage pond where it is reused for agricultural irrigation. Nutrients in the effluent reduce the amount of supplemental fertilizer used on the crops in the fields. Forrest McNabb, Big-D Construction’s food and beverage president, says that while biogas is expensive, it is a good investment over the long term. “It’s the right thing to do in today’s world when it comes to sustainability,” he adds.

Riverbend Meats Processing Plant

The plant includes seven different temperature zones and large fabrication areas.
Photo courtesy of Big-D Construction