Cargill announced Thursday that it will idle its Plainview, Texas, beef processing facility effective at the close of business, Friday, Feb.1, resulting primarily from the tight cattle supply brought about by years of drought in Texas and Southern Plains states.
Approximately 2,000 people work at the Plainview facility, and they will receive company support. Federal, state, county and city government representatives, as well as Cargill customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders were informed of Cargill’s decision, concurrent with Cargill employees being notified.
“The decision to idle our Plainview beef processing plant was a difficult and painful one to make and was made only after we conducted an exhaustive analysis of the regional cattle supply and processing capacity situation in North America,” said John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, based in Wichita, Kan. “While idling a major beef plant is unfortunate because of the resulting layoff of good people, which impacts their families and the community of Plainview, we were compelled to make a decision that would reduce the strain created on our beef business by the reduced cattle supply.
"The U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952. Increased feed costs resulting from the prolonged drought, combined with herd liquidations by cattle ranchers, are severely and adversely contributing to the challenging business conditions we face as an industry. Our preference would have been not to idle a plant.”
Cargill’s Plainview employees affected by this decision will be provided support as well as assistance finding and filling open positions at other Cargill locations or with other employers.
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