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Cattle Feeders Work to Keep Brawley Plant Open In Wake of Decision to Close Facility

A consortium of California cattle feeders has sweetened the pot in an effort to entice National Beef Packing Co. to keep its Brawley, CA plant open.

Burt Rutherford

February 22, 2014

2 Min Read
Cattle Feeders Work to Keep Brawley Plant Open In Wake of Decision to Close Facility

In an effort to remain competitive in a tighter and more volatile fed cattle market, a consortium of cattle feeders in California has significantly sweetened the pot to entice National Beef Packing Co. to keep the doors open and the lights on in its Brawley, CA, packing plant.

Earlier, National announced plans to close the facility April 4.

The feeders group, called Imperil Valley Cattle Feeders, have offered in excess of $9 million in additional cattle price discounts for years 2014 and 2015. The discount is in addition to $15 million in discounts previously given National Beef on Jan. 1, 2013. Annual discounts beyond $24 million would put local feeders at a disadvantage when trying to compete with other markets, according to Bill Brandenberg of the Imperial Valley Cattle Feeders (IVCF) Group.  

"National lost a stable supply of cattle from Arizona and some IVCF members had plans to increase their supplies but those plans are now on hold. Imperial Valley cattle numbers are at 25-30 year highs. Valley feeders understand National's need for more cattle and are ready to accommodate those needs to the best of their abilities," Brandenberg said.  

The feeders said they appreciate all of the extraordinary efforts made by Imperial County, City of Brawley, Imperial Irrigation District, Senator Ben Hueso, Assemblyman Manuel Perez, the Governor's office, the Regional Water Quality Board and other stakeholders who have worked with National Beef to keep its plant open.

"We owe it to the Imperial Valley community, the plant's 1,300 employees, and our own feedyard employees to continue looking at all options," Brandenberg said.

 

 

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About the Author(s)

Burt Rutherford

Senior Editor, BEEF Magazine

Burt Rutherford is director of content and senior editor of BEEF. He has nearly 40 years’ experience communicating about the beef industry. A Colorado native and graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in agricultural journalism, he now works from his home base in Colorado. He worked as communications director for the North American Limousin Foundation and editor of the Western Livestock Journal before spending 21 years as communications director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He works to keep BEEF readers informed of trends and production practices to bolster the bottom line.

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