Meat Plant Sale Threatens Johnson County Sheep Producers

BUFFALO — According to Wyoming Department of Agriculture statistics, 34,000 sheep and lambs call Johnson County home. They outnumber the county’s human population four to one.

For every lamb born, another is sent away to be slaughtered and processed at plants like the Mountain States Rosen lamb processing facility in Greeley, Colorado. It is all a part of the Johnson County circle of life.

Now the circle could be disrupted. With JBS USA Holdings – one of the country’s “Big Four” meatpackers — acquiring the Mountain States Rosen facility and threatening to discontinue lamb slaughter and processing, the lamb processing capacity of the United States could be cut by nearly 20%. This means there could be nearly 350,000 more lambs nationwide than existing processing plants can handle.

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