Cargill Closes Plant Due to Drought · Environmental Management & Energy News
Where’s the beef, climate deniers?
Cargill will idle its Plainview, Texas beef processing plant due to a tight cattle supply brought on by years of drought in the region.
The US cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952, Cargill said. Increased feed costs resulting from the prolonged drought, combined with herd liquidations by cattle ranchers, are severely challenging the beef industry, said John Keating, president of Cargill Beef.
The plant, which employs about 2,000 people, will close February 1. The company’s remaining beef processing plants in the region, in Friona, Texas; Dodge City, Kan.; and Fort Morgan, Colo., will receive cattle that were previously destined for processing at Plainview, Cargill said. The company’s regional beef facilities in Fresno, Calif.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Wyalusing, Pa., as well as its beef plant in Schuyler, Neb., and two plants in Canada are unaffected.
The company will provide laid-off workers with support as well as assistance finding and filling open positions at other Cargill locations or with other employers. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local Union 540, which represents more than 1,800 workers at the plant, is urging Cargill to ensure employees who are relocated to other plants are not brought on as new hires and will keep their benefits and eligibility for their pension.
Cargill is among a number of agribusiness-related companies impacted by drought in Texas, southern Plain states and the Midwest.