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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • What does the closing of Cargill's Plainview, Texas plant mean for Dodge City?

  • Cargill announced Thursday that the processing plant in Plainview, Texas would be closed.
    How will that affect Dodge City and the Cargill plant here?
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  • Cargill announced Thursday that the processing plant in Plainview, Texas would be closed.
    How will that affect Dodge City and the Cargill plant here?
    The Globe spoke with Mike Martin, director of communications for Cargill by phone late Thursday following the announcement of the Plainview closing.
    "This will be an opportunity for our Dodge plant to show what it can do," Martin said.
    "Dodge is the largest beef plant in our system. It's capable of processing 6,000 head per day. And Cargill intends to maintain its market position as the second-largest beef producer," he said.
    Martin said Cargill is planning a work fair in Plainview. Representatives from Cargill's processing plants in Dodge City; Friona, Texas and Fort Morgan, Colo. will attend, as will representatives from the company's regional beef facilities in Wisconsin, California, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Canada.
    "I'm not sure how many opening we currently have in Dodge City," Martin said.
    In addition to workers who might transfer to Dodge City, a portion of the cattle that would have gone to Plainview for processing will come to Dodge City.
    "We expect that to enable the Dodge City facility to operate consistently on a 40 hour per week basis," Martin said.
    Doing what we can
    Joann Knight, executive director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation, spoke with the Globe by phone Friday morning.
    "First, our sympathies go out to the employees directly affected at the Plainview facility and to the community, because this kind of thing affects the whole community," she said.
    Knight's office has reached out to Cargill officials, offering to help with placement in the Dodge City facility.
    "We can take our booth to job fairs. We offer recruitment packets and we also offer community tours," she said.
    Although no reliable information is currently available, Knight says that the fact Cargill will be sending at least some of the cattle that would have gone to Plainview to Dodge City for processing, it's reasonable to expect that increased production might lead to increased employment.
    "The potential problem is housing. We've seen some increases recently in housing availability and there are properties under construction, but we expect oil, gas and wind activity to pick up in the near future," she said.
    The Development Corporation maintains websites dedicated to helping people find jobs and housing in Dodge City: DodgeCityHasJobs.com and DodgeCityHousing.com.

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