On January 8, Cargill Cattle Feeders LLC completed the sale of its Lockney, Texas, feed yard to Lofton Trust, a family-owned cattle operation based in California. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The feed yard, located in the Texas Panhandle near Plainview, opened in 1970 and was purchased by Cargill in 1986. It currently has capacity for 60,000 cattle and employs approximately 20 people.
In 2013, Cargill announced the future closure of Lockney, related to the shutdown of the company's Plainview, Texas, beef processing facility on February 1 of that year. The processing plant closed primarily due to drought that had severely limited the region's cattle supplies where four major beef processing facilities were operating. With a large feed yard at Bovina, Texas, in close proximity to Cargill's Friona, Texas, beef processing plant, and a constrained cattle supply throughout the Panhandle region, Lockney was deemed surplus.
Lofton Trust was in the midst of an expansion of its operations when a large Southern California beef processing plant closed, resulting in the need for a new feed yard location. After considerable research, it was decided the Cargill facility in Lockney would be a good fit. The Lockney feed yard will operate under Western Cattle Feeders LLC.
"This is a win for Lockney, its employees, the Texas beef business, Cargill and Lofton Trust," said Todd Allen, President of Wichita, Kan.-based Cargill Cattle Feeders. "We were dismayed about the prospect of Lockney closing in the wake of the Plainview beef plant shutting down, so being able to keep the feed yard viable is a wonderful feeling. We are confident the Lofton Trust will work hard to maintain its ongoing success."
Cargill continues to operate four major feed yards in Texas, Kansas and Colorado with capacity of approximately 300,000 cattle.