Superior Farms on Wednesday closed its lamb slaughter plant in Hawarden, Iowa.
California-based Superior said it will keep open a six-employee station that buys lambs from area producers. In addition, the company will leave the equipment in the plant, which has the capacity to slaughter up to 240,000 lambs annually.
"We really feel there is a lot of potential for the lamb industry in that area, and we want to be a resource for growers so they can stay in business," Superior spokeswoman Angela Gentry said.
The American Sheep Industry Association reminds the industry that many of the lambs that have previously supplied the Iowa plant are entering into the nontraditional market instead, leaving the plant with less supply. Through the push to rebuild the national flock, it is forecast that industry growth will result in adequate lamb supply for both the traditional and nontraditional markets in that region.
"As livestock becomes more available, and the flocks start growing, we will re-open as we are able to," said Gentry.
Reprinted in part from the Sioux City Journal