TELFORD, Tenn. (WJHL) — Ground was broken Thursday on a future meat processing facility in Telford.

The Appalachian Producers Cooperative has been a project in the making for more than two years.

Those behind the project say it will benefit local farmers and consumers.

Mike Southerland, president of the Appalachian Producers Cooperative, said other meat processing facilities in the area lack the capacity to take in all the cattle to be processed, leaving local farmers on a waitlist.

“Currently there’s a 12 to 16 months timeframe to try to get an animal processed so we’re hoping that the size we’re going to be, we can reduce that down to two or three months hopefully,” Southerland said.

The facility could also bring more locally sourced meat to grocery stores.

The Appalachian Producers Cooperative is expected to employ 25 people and work with local schools to provide educational opportunities in agriculture.

Construction is expected to be completed by October 2024.