New Processing Plants for Colorado Sheep and Lamb
A new lamb slaughter plant in Brush, Colorado, and another being readied in Texas are bringing new optimism to struggling sheep producers.
Bonnie Brown Executive Director of the Colorado Wool Growers and Sheep and Wool Authority says the Colorado sheep and lamb industry is facing unprecedented challenges due to the trade war with China, lamb imports, drought, COVID 19, and the loss of the Mountain State Rosen processing plant in Greeley to bankruptcy.
Colorado Lamb Processors is readying its new plant in Brush to open in this month.
Brown: “I think they’re going to try to roll through about 1,000 head a day and workout whatever glitches, bumps, blips that come on the screen, and get things lined out before they’re running at full capacity. But what a fantastic opportunity for the western United States. There hasn’t been a new lamb processing plant built in the United States in over 30 years. So to have a brand new state of the art facility here in our state is really exciting.”
The new lamb slaughter plant in Brush could process as many as 2,000 lambs per day and employ 50-60 people when at full capacity but without the carcass breakdown capabilities. Brown says the plant is set up to expand to a breaker facility eventually. (( For now, most carcasses will be shipped to other facilities to be processed into foodservice and retail cuts.))
Additionally, the Hasbrouck family of Ault has purchased a processing plant in San Angelo Texas. The Double J Lamb Texas facility is expected to be online by the end of the year.
Colorado is the largest lamb feeder in the US. It ranks 4th in total breeding sheep and lambs and 4th in the nation in wool production according to Brown.