Closings, Cancellations and Delays

Sheep, lamb producers concerned over loss of processing plant to foreign interests

News Staff - July 31, 2020

GREELEY, CO – The U.S. sheep and lamb industry is asking for federal intervention in the purchase of  the Mountain States Rosen processing plant  by JBS USA Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Brazilian JBS S.A.

In a letter sent to the Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, 15 U.S. Senators have signed on to request an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) into the acquisition, citing concerns over what would be JBS’ significant control of U.S. lamb processing capacity.  

The MSR facility is the second largest lamb packaging plant in the United States, processing approximately 350,000 lambs annually, over 6,000 per week, with an annual capacity of nearly 800,000. It accounts for one-fifth of the U.S.’s lamb processing capacity.

Mountain States Rosen in June sent a letter to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment alerting the agency of the closure affecting all 222 employees as required by the Colorado Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

The letter explains the sale is the result of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Employees affected by the closure have jobs ranging from executive-level such as the company president to those in sales, packers, baggers, livestock handler and customer service.

Mountain States Rosen had purchased JBS’s Greeley lamb plant in 2015. At the time, the Greeley plant processed lambs for 140 producers in 15 states.

JBS has now successfully bid for the Mountain States Rosen facility during the bankruptcy auction that was held on July 16. Stated plans are to convert the plant to a beef processing plant to add to another JBS beef processing plant located near by.

It’s closure represents the loss of approximately  20 percent of the lamb slaughter capacity and will leave sheep producers  in several states with limited selling options for market ready lambs which are mostly marketed in September and October.

The plant is to close today, July 31.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785