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January 10, 2004
WITCHITA, KS. - Cargill Inc. is cutting about 700 jobs at five beef-processing plants in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, citing lost exports of U.S. beef following the discovery of a single case of mad cow disease in Washington state last month.
Cargill's Excel Corp. subsidiary said Friday it was laying off 100 to 150 people at each of the plants. The five plants each employed 2,200 to 2,500 people. Notice of the layoffs was made Friday, the company said.
"A number of countries have banned U.S. beef, and there are some products we will not now be processing for export. That has led to the layoffs," said Bill Rupp, executive vice president of Excel.
Excel is based in Wichita. The affected plants are located in Dodge City, Kan., Schuyler, Neb., Ft. Morgan, Colo., and Plainview and Friona, Texas.