Cattle shortage forces closure of Cargill facilityWith a dwindling supply of cattle, international food supplier Cargill said it will close its Milwaukee, Wisconsin beef harvest facility effective Friday.

“Closing our Milwaukee beef plant is taking place only after we conducted an 18-month-long analysis of the region’s cattle supply and examined all other possible options,” said John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, based in Wichita, Kansas. “It is unfortunate that we must close any beef plant because of the impact to good people, their families and the community. The harsh reality is that the US beef cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1951, with any significant herd expansion being years away.”   

The facility employs about 600 people. According to Cargill, the ground beef plant at the site will remain open to meet customer needs, employing approximately 200 people. The company said its remaining six US harvest plants will be unaffected.

Cargill purchased the harvest plant in 2001 and it has a processing capacity of 1,300 to 1,400 animals daily.

For the more than 600 people impacted by the close, the company said it will be offering opportunities to fill positions at company locations in the region.