Smithfield Foods announced Friday it is closing the majority of its operation in Beaver County, prompting an outcry from the rural community.
County officials noted the company is the area’s largest employer, and they contend the closure will affect more than 250 jobs — a number a Smithfield spokesman disputes.
During an emergency meeting after the announcement, county and city leaders expressed fear of how the closure could create a ripple effect on the local economy. The county in southwest Utah has a population of about 6,500 people, according to U.S. census data.
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