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Beef jerky maker to pay for gas pipeline to small NW Wisconsin village


MINONG, WI (WSAU) -  A tiny northwestern Wisconsin village that is home to a growing snack business will benefit from that growth in a different way. Link Snacks, which produces and distributes several varieties of Jack Link’s beef jerky, is planning an expansion which would add 30% more capacity to the plant. Part of the expansion plan is to switch the processing plant to natural gas instead of liquid propane gas. Link Snacks says the natural gas conversion would save them money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 35%. Link Snacks is willing to pay for most of the 2-point-2 million dollar construction cost to pipe the natural gas from Trego, 14 miles south of Minong.

Having the natural gas main piped into the village will also give residents a cheaper and more efficient option for heating and cooking without the hassles of LP deliveries or handling bottle gas tanks.

Construction could start as early as this spring. The plant would be converted to natural gas by the end of 2013 and residential Minong gas hookups would likely start in the spring of 2014. We Energies would be the pipeline contractor for the project.

Link Snacks did a similar pipeline project in Alpena South Dakota, which is about the same size as Minong.

The beef jerky empire started in Minong, and now has production facilities in Alpena South Dakota, New Glarus Wisconsin, Mankato Minnesota, Brazil and New Zealand. They also have two Iowa warehousing operations and a Minneapolis office.