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Southwestern Minnesota town hit by closing of beef processing plant

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Windom, Minnesota, has learned that a beef processing plant in the city will close permanently in December.

PM Beef notified Windom's mayor in a letter shared with the Cottonwood County Citizen that the company is closing the plant, which employs 262 people, the Citizen says.

According to MPR News, the meatpacking plant suspended operations at the end of September and PM Beef now hopes to find a buyer who will reopen it. Company President Lisa Hernandez tells MPR the difficult decision to close the plant was based on deteriorating conditions in the industry, including rising cattle prices.

The city administrator in Windom, a town of fewer than 5,000, tells KEYC the plant's closing will likely lead to higher rates for some city utilities, notably sewer and wastewater.

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The Worthington Daily Globe reports that as recently as 2004 the Windom plant employed 550 people. The Globe says it was the last beef processing facility in southwestern Minnesota and its closing ends decades of meatpacking in Windom.

PM Beef says on its website that the company provides beef to retailers and food service companies around the world.

Industry experts tell Reuters the Windom plant was slaughtering an estimated 900 head of cattle per day, while competitors such as Tyson Foods and JBS Swift have estimated capacities of about 5,000 head.

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