The company announced in late January that it would close its Brawley plant due to the decline of available fed cattle. The closure would cut 1,300 jobs.

Local officials said the company had three issues: cattle supply, utility costs and regulatory compliance.

The news prompted a collaborative response from local officials. Imperial County pledged $3 million to assist National Beef with wastewater capital improvements.

The local irrigation district offered the company an energy rate that would reduce the plant’s energy costs by $2.1 million per year.

And the city of Brawley offered a water rate and utility tax reduction that would save the company $700,000 per year.


Local feedlots also offered to increase their supply of cattle by as much as 10 percent by 2016. But it wasn’t enough as the company said it would fall short of creating a profitable enterprise.

“We have considered all of the alternatives but, unfortunately, the barriers to profitably operate the facility continue to exist.

Even with the proposed incentive package, the declining supply of fed cattle available for the Brawley facility remains the key driver of our decision to close the plant.”

—Imperial Valley Press